JOA working closely with JADCO - Fennell hails Jamaica's anti-doping testing as a 'model for others'
President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Mike Fennell said the organisation has been working closely with Jamaica's anti-doping authority ahead of next month's Rio Olympic Games and hailed the country's drug-testing programme as a model for many other countries.
Jamaica has had its fair share of anti-doping violations. A few years ago, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) was criticised for what was considered an inadequate testing machinery.
The country has, however, since been hailed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for its efforts to improve drug testing and education.
"We have been in collaboration with JADCO in terms of having a robust testing arrangement, reviewing the pool, and we are satisfied that Jamaica has been carrying out its responsibility for testing and monitoring anti-doping procedures, which can be a model for other countries.
"I am very happy to tell you that this is going on, so Jamaica can have no fear as far as this is concerned," Fennell told The Gleaner in a recent interview.
LARGEST CONTINGENT YET
Jamaica will be sending its largest-ever contingent to the Olympic Games in Rio with 63 athletes - representing athletics, gymnastics, swimming, and diving named to represent the country in the Brazilian city.
"We will do further monitoring but also educational programmes for our athletes and officials who will be going to the Games to ensure that they are fully up to speed as far as that is concerned," Fennell added.
According to JADCO figures, 12 blood and 100 urine samples were tested from January to March 2016. Only the April 2015 to June 2015 quarter saw more activity over the last year - 182 urine and 29 blood samples tested.
Fifty-four in-competition urine tests were conducted by JADCO during the January to March 2016 quarter, with the other 46 taking place out of competition. All 12 blood samples for the corresponding period were collected outside of competition.
From April 2015 to March 2016, JADCO collected 52 samples (29 in-competition and 23 outside of competition) for blood testing whereas 401 urine samples were collected and tested. One hundred and seventy-eight were collected by JADCO
during competition, with an additional 16 handled through contract. The remaining 207 urine samples over the period were collected out of competition.
Blood testing was introduced by JADCO last year as it continues its efforts to confirm Jamaica's drug-testing credibility.
"We're satisfied that Jamaica has been carrying its responsibility for testing and monitoring anti-doping procedures, which can be a model for many other countries," Fennell added.
"The whole world of sports today has had to be dealing with doping or anti-doping issues, and Jamaica is no different."