This reflects badly on us - Fennell
That is the assessment of Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell in relation to the International Olympic Association’s decision to disqualify sprinter Nesta Carter from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and strip the country of the 4x100m relay gold medal he helped it secure.
Fennell, who also demanded that the sprinter be treated fairly in the process, questioned the acceptability of the retesting exercise, while underscoring the impact he is expecting the situation to have on the country’s Olympic legacy.
Jamaica yesterday saw its Olympic gold medal tally shrink to 21 and the famous ‘Triple Treble’ of its most recognisable name, Usain Bolt, who went to bed on Tuesday as a nine-time Olympic champion, waking up the next morning as the man who won a ‘Double Treble’ plus two.
The impact is not lost on Fennell.
“There is no question that when you have a situation like this and the high-profile position of a relay team that won a gold medal and some of the people who are superstars on that team, then obviously ,it will reflect very badly on us,” Fennell told The Gleaner.
“This is extremely unfortunate. It’s obviously not something that we would want to happen, but we have to face it and face the issues clearly and deal with them.”
He warned: “We do feel it’s very important for us because as a country, our sports leaders, and everybody, are very strong about anti-doping matters and the fight against doping in sport, but, at the same time, we are equally strong that we must protect the rights of the athletes, particularly those who are innocent and have not contravened the spirit of the rules,” he warned.
... Retesting was not intended for substances like that
Sprinter Nesta Carter, who tested positive for the prohibited substance methylhexanamine, was one of 31 athletes who returned positive results after their samples from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games were retested by the international body using improved technology.
“You could point to a lot of things, and certainly, this retesting, to my mind, was not intended for substances like that,” shared Mike Fennell, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association.
The 31-year-old Carter, who was also a member of gold medal-winning 4x100m relay teams at the 2011 (Daegu), 2013 (Moscow), and 2015 (Beijing) World Championships, as well as the 2012 Olympic Games in London, also won bronze in the 100m at the 2013 World Championships.