Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Grange concerned about medal strip

Published:Thursday | January 26, 2017 | 12:53 AMRachid Parchment

Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange is expressing concern about the possible effects of Nesta Carter’s guilty verdict handed down by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC ruling said that reanalysis of Carter’s samples from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China had tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine. As a result, Carter and teammates, including the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater and Dwight Thomas, have been stripped of their 4x100m relay gold medal from that Olympiad.

Grange said that there is a process to follow in providing support for the affected athletes and her portfolio Ministry of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport is working with the relevant bodies to seek a resolution to the issue.

“As a nation, we have grown quite accustomed to having our name in the sports headlines across the world,” Grange told The Gleaner. “Today, that is happening again but it’s not the kind of headline that we welcome. The announcement that Nesta Carter has been found guilty in the doping case is a little disappointing for us. However, I want to just say to everyone, it is a process.”

The minister added, “The JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) is examining the case and the ruling and I will be briefed on the matter. We will discuss the implications. I want to encourage our athletes and I want to say to everyone: ‘let us not be apprehensive’.”

Grange, however, refused to say whether she thinks the ruling has affected the legacy of both Jamaica and Usain Bolt, who (at least until after a successful appeal has been made) can no longer claim the accolade of ‘Triple Treble’ Olympic success in the men’s 100 and 200m sprints and the 4x100m relays.