THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is an open letter to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Regarding the Gleaner article 'Some thought I was on drugs' (http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130918/sports/sports1.html), and directed to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce herself, perhaps your competitors' criticisms are less about you and more about the sad condition of Jamaica's national sports-testing body, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO).
I want nothing but the best results for you and our athletes who contribute greatly to my pride. But unlike most Jamaicans' comments, that joy is tempered by the unnecessary suspicion raised by the disastrous JADCO operation and the incompetent-appearing bureaucrats who defend it. They are not doing you any favours.
When you consider why the other athletes criticise, you have to factor in Jamaica's poor international reputation for testing. In their minds, the combination of rigorous in- and out-of-competition testing they must submit to under competent and aggressive national testing organisations gives them the moral authority to criticise.
Consider, also, that it also gives the much-unwelcome Carl Lewis fodder for his hypocritical protests. The Jamaican authorities gave them this ammunition. No athlete welcomes the stressful testing procedures, especially intrusive out of competition, but I'm sure you understand that, to fully level the playing field, all need equal treatment.
The past 40 years has had Jamaica mismanaged enough to be considered a failed state. Studies have us with leading levels of crime, corruption, and with an economy hamstrung by a high level of debt to GDP. Don't let this mismanagement affect you!
So, here is some friendly advice: Hit back at your detractors by taking the reins to push the Government to overhaul the testing programme. Demand that the friendly faces at JADCO be replaced by more competent and professional personnel, even if those could best be found abroad. Use the rationale that these changes would be an investment in both Jamaica's reputation and your legacy.
When all that's in place, run, win and confidently stick your tongue out at your detractors, knowing full well that their basis is solely jealousy.
All the best!