Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Dr Paul Wright's column

Published:Tuesday | March 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Having read about the position of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) re drug testing at Boys and Girls' Champs, I am now convinced that, being aware of the inability of fans, cricketers and prime ministers to force the WICB to change its management structure - despite two reports that they themselves commissioned - ISSA now has decided to resist a directive from the Prime Minister. Is it a private company accountable to no one but itself?

I do recall that in 2013, the Prime Minister, the Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, declared that drug testing would take place at Champs and she went on to mandate that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) do at least 400 drug tests per year.

We now know that no such thing will take place ... yet.

No drug testing at Champs, no testing for erythropoietin, no blood testing by JADCO, no 400 tests per year ... yet.

While I do believe that most of our athletes perform at world standard without the use of drugs, there is, however, the historical fact that on one of the rare occasions that a schoolboy was drug tested, he returned a positive result for a testosterone precursor!

It is fair to assume that he did not decide on his own to dope, therefore it follows that the fact that he doped meant that someone (an adult) provided the access and financial wherewithal to dope.

It is, therefore, obvious that after no adult was identified or indicted along with the child/athlete at his doping hearing, that someone is still at large with the propensity and financial backative to dope other children, safe in the knowledge that another year has passed without drug testing at Champs.

The president of ISSA has made his priorities known. He needs a bigger stadium so that his organisation can fully accommodate those who request technical space or admission to an event that lasts five days, supposedly at the cost of the taxpayer, with 'de govament' being responsible for its upkeep and maintenance for the other 361 days of the year! 'Ah-no nutten'.

Student/athlete transfers

The statement from the Minister of Education, that the ministry will now take charge of transfers of students from school A to school B in order to prevent transfers for the sole purpose of winning at sports, has brought comments from those who foresee that one day no school will be able to produce a 'school team' made up of transferees from other schools.

Lascelve Graham has written extensively on the 'negative spinoffs of recruiting for sports up to high school level', but I want to highlight the case of a young boy from an inner-city community, where academic prowess is not a priority.

He studied hard, however, and passed his GSAT exam for the school of his choice, a popular Kingston school known for the excellence of its footballers. The young man maintained good grades for the first three years of his school life and actually made the squad for summer training for the premier football competition in his fourth year. In the summer practice games he played two matches, but noticed the arrival of seven 'new' boys whose football skills were unmatched by members of the practice squad.

By the time the competition started, our young man was not even good enough to 'make the bench'. His anger though seethed, when he reported to me that these 'skilful ballers' were not up to the academic standard of the class they were put in and spent most of their time idling and disrupting others.

He is now completely against the transfer of students from school A to school B for the sole purpose of winning at sports. And so should say all of us.