Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Grange urges ‘calm’ on Beijing re-test

Published:Tuesday | June 7, 2016 | 6:54 PMShayne Fairman


Minister of Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, said despite the government not having direct involvement, she is maintaining “close watch” on doping developments regarding a local runner named among 31 athletes with positive ‘A’ sample re-tests from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
They are awaiting the results of the ‘B’ sample.
Grange, meanwhile is urging track and field stakeholders “to remain calm and allow due process to take place”.
She was speaking at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures Senior and Junior Championships launch at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday.
“I have taken note of the statement issued by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) as in relation to the receipt of notification by the IOC that a Jamaican athlete has returned, quote, ‘an adverse analytical result from the testing program of samples from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games’, and as the Minister of Sport I wish to assure the nation that I will be closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds over coming weeks,” she said.
“As you may know, this is not a matter that the government or its agencies have any direct involvement, it is understandable that there may be some level of anxiety or concern about this news, particularly as we look forward to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in just a few weeks,” she explained.
“ I share those concerns. However, this is not a matter in which we can afford to be cavalier with the rules and procedures, it is in everyone’s best interest that due process evolves as it should, ladies and gentlemen, against this background I urge all to allow patience and calm to prevail,” Grange stressed. 
Jamaica could face consequences, with at least one medal (4x100m gold medal) from the Beijing Olympics at risk of being stripped.
“As we await further information on the outcome of the hearing, this is as much as I would say ... I am not open to questions from anyone, but I felt it was important that I make these comments to ensure everyone that I am very much aware of what is happening,” added the minister.