UK magazine claims culture of silence over Jamaica doping scandals

Published: Tuesday | December 24, 2013 Comments 0

A report published on the United Kingdom's Daily Mail website on Saturday has alleged that Jamaicans are in fear of speaking out against possible drug cheats in athletics.

The article, titled 'Bolt dominates the landscape but a spate of failed drug tests threatens to turn Jamaica into "an island of broken dreams", stated that "the fear of speaking out about the legitimacy of athletics in Jamaica is real".

It went on to say: "In a country where the police commissioner last week admitted that a murder could be arranged for J$5,000 - less than £30 - critics are wary of retribution."

The story painted a picture of Jamaican athletes and the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) being involved in a conspiracy to cover up their doping, and no one daring to speak out against this.

The article stated that the country has abandoned its previous culture of shunning drug-cheats, to rally around Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, who were tested positive for banned substances this past summer.


"Jamaica is in danger of becoming an island of broken dreams as the spectre of doping haunts its athletes and threatens the reputation it has built through success on the running track," the story read.

Written by Martha Kelner, the exposť quoted Dick Pound, former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as saying: "They know that when they leave the country, their level of success is such that the athletes are going to get tested. My understanding is that they make sure they're clean before they leave."

Pound is even quoted as saying the current situation mimics that of "the old Soviet Union and East Germany days - they didn't let anyone out who was going to get caught".

Since the start of the year, eight Jamaicans have been said to return positive drug tests, with the JADCO coming under heavy scrutiny. In November, the entire JADCO board resigned.


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