André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) will be stepping up their presence in the swimming pool, with particular focus at the upcoming Carifta Swimming Championships, which will be staged at the National Stadium pool March 30-April 3.
It's a development that has been welcomed by Martin Lyn, president of the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), and one he hopes will complement the association's doping education programme.
"JADCO has confirmed that they will be at the (Carifta) championships," said Lyn. "Their focus obviously is not in the younger swimmers at this time, they are going to be interested in swimmers 15 years of age and older."
This is the first time that JADCO will be present at a major swimming championships in Jamaica, but the organisation has in the past made its presence felt in the sport. Just last year, JADCO monitored a local swimmer for over three years as part of its monitoring exercise.
"This is a very good thing," Lyn continued. "What it indicates is that JADCO and other organisations are now taking the sport of swimming and aquatics seriously, and it also sends a message to all of our athletes that they need to stay on the straight and narrow from a very early age.
"We have swimmers 12, 13 years old who are winning gold medals and setting good times, and so the stress and responsibility is on them from an early age, and you can never tell if they think of doing anything later on, that thought will be eliminated," Lyn added, before speaking to the associations efforts towards anti-doping educating.
"The ASAJ sends out regular reports, we get FINA guidelines of current substances and their usage down to something as simple as drinking coffee three days before a meet.
"FINA has definite substance abuse guidelines and that is circulated to all the clubs, and there are copies in the office as well," Lyn said.
"We also, prior to every major swim meet, send out reminders through our medical committee to the various clubs," Lyn noted. "So it's more along the lines of education, but also preventative."