Shirley questions VCB 'warning', blasts JADCO again
One time Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) boss Renee Anne Shirley continued her criticism of Jamaica's anti-doping efforts with claims that the organisation has never conducted a blood test, while expressing serious concern about Veronica Campbell-Brown's recent public warning.
The star sprinter recently received the minimum punishment from the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association Disciplinary Panel after her hearing into a doping violation, but Shirley isn't sure the recommendation will stand up to the IAAF's review.
"Let me put it this way. Starting with Veronica Campbell-Brown, I'm waiting with interest to see what the technical committee at the IAAF has to say about her being given a warning," Shirley told UK publication The Telegraph.
"It should have been a two-year ban and, typically, for you to get a reduction you have to show "exceptional circumstances". So it will be interesting to see what happens."
Shirley, who first expressed her concerns about the island's drug testing system in a Gleaner article earlier this year, prompted wide-spread discussion after her revelation that JADCO had only conducted one out-of-competition drug test in the five months' build-up to last year's Olympic Games in London.
The former executive director, who headed the organisation between July 2012 and February this year, added that as far as she was aware, 30 blood-testing kits sent to the island during her term of leadership have not been used to date, effectively meaning that JADCO has never conducted a blood test. Blood tests are effective in identifying the presence of human growth hormone (HGH).
"Why have they not started doing blood tests and looking for things like HGH?" Shirley was quoted as saying.
"I know that 30 kits were bought and I left them there. To the best of my knowledge, eight months later I don't know if Jamaica has started doing blood tests.
"When you look at the IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] statistics, I think they said they did nine blood tests last year on Jamaican athletes, so it's not a lot of blood testing."
Shirley also expressed concern about JADCO's ability to properly prepare for cases against athletes charged with violating doping rules because of staff shortages.
"We have a number of doping positives which are going to need to be managed because JADCO has to manage the results process and put the cases together to go to the hearings. My concern is that the staff is not in place to do this job and nobody is addressing this issue. This process must be managed and cases have to be put together with witness statements," Shirley said.
Calls to JADCO chairman Dr Herb Elliott's cell phone went unanswered yesterday.