Cheaters should be punished, says Pound
Raymond Graham, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Richard 'Dick' Pound, former president of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and former vice-president of International Olympic Association, lashed out at drug cheats, saying they should be punished.
"It is no secret that there is a lot of cheating in sports and the playing field should be kept level. Doping by athletes is not accidental, and athletes do so to get advantages over their rivals and cheaters should be punished," said Pound, the main presenter at the University of West Indies' third Sports Anti-Doping Workshop, which was held yesterday.
Several of the country's top sporting administrators, along with coaches, doctors and lawyers, were in attendance.
"All sports are governed by rules and it does not matter who you are or how important you are, if you cheat you will be punished. The importance of having an effective anti-doping regime and the need to be aggressive in the fight against doping will continue," said Pound.
THE ARMSTRONG CASE
To show the magnitude of the challenge faced by testers, Pound made reference to United States cyclist Lance Armstrong and remarked, "How was that possible for someone to cheat that long and got away all those years?"
Natalie Neita-Headley, minister with responsibility for sports, stated that she was happy to be part of the conference as the Government of Jamaica took doping seriously and stated that Jamaica was the first country in Latin America to legislate the anti-doping regime.
President of the Jamaica Adminis-trative Athletics Association, Dr Warren Blake, credited WADA's improved success in the lab for Jamaica's improved success on the track.
"We in Jamaica are happy for WADA as in nine Olympic Games before WADA, Jamaica was only able to garner 23 medals, but since the introduction of WADA, where three Olympic Games have been held, we have picked up 25 medals, which shows that anti-doping has benefited Jamaica," Blake analysed.
He added that Jamaican athletes have gone through more drug testing in and out of competition than any other country's athletes worldwide.
Top senior coach, Glen Mills, said at the London Olympics his top athlete, Usain Bolt, was blood-tested three times in three days. Mills' response came when one member in the audience referred to the numerous occasions Asafa Powell was tested at the Games.