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JADCO to widen dragnet - Local drug-testing agency aims to penalise support staff in positive cases; warns against supplement use

Published:Tuesday | July 30, 2013 | 12:00 AM


Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter,  Jamaican anti-doping officials will be widening the dragnet in their fight against drug use in sports, making trainers, nutritionists and other support personnel for athletes equally culpable in doping cases.

Chairman of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), Dr Herb Elliott, also warned athletes and their teams to stay away from supplements, which he says are largely unregulated and in many cases contain prohibited substances not listed on their label.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief, John Fahey, recently noted that the previously untouched entourages of athletes who test positive would face sanctions - a recommendation which will be presented in November when the new WADA Code is submitted for ratification.

If approved, this will come into effect in 2015 and Elliott made it clear yesterday that the local organisation is heading in a similar direction.

"As far as making the people around the athletes culpable for their failed tests as well, we are going to do that too," Elliott told The Gleaner. "We are considering that, it's something we are definitely looking to implement as well."

WADA will also propose that athletes with coaches who have already been found guilty of

doping be targeted, plus an automatic four-year ban for offences such as steroid use.

This has been a major point of discussion since it was announced recently that Jamaicans Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, as well as American Tyson Gay, tested positive for banned substances.

Gay expressed that he had placed his trust in someone and was "let down", while there have been insinuations that the positive results returned by Powell and Simpson came from new supplements provided by their recently employed personal trainer Chris Xeureb.

Elliott warned against the use of supplements, noting the many dangers that they pose for athletes.

Manufacturers of supplements are not obligated to list every ingredient in their products.

"The IAAF and others do not recommend supplements because most supplements are not under any jurisdiction, so you cannot be certain if what they say on the label is in the supplement itself," Elliott said.

"The other things is that supplements are made in an uncontrollable situation ... they can have contaminated things because in a lot of cases the same people who make anabolic steroids also make supplements. They may not clean the machine and so from one batch to the other, you could have a problem," Elliott added. "My recommendation has always been to use vitamins which are on the regulated list of the FDA and other people."