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LETTER OF THE DAY - JADCO disgrace

Published:Wednesday | July 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) should really be ashamed of itself. Gravely ashamed, in fact. Its track record vis-à-vis doping bans, as well as testing mechanisms, is woefully damaged following the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) ruling against one more of its very high-profile decisions.

Surely, CAS's ruling did not catch any of us by surprise, though, rightly, it ought not to be viewed as a victory. On the contrary, it is a day of collective disgrace which now warrants reflection, as well as a careful charting of an appropriate and better way forward.

So even as we give thanks that both Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have had their 18-month sentences for the use of the out-of-competition substance oxilofrine reduced to six months, retroactive to June 2013, we are nonetheless severely disappointed in this development. This is unquestionably not good news for Jamaican athletics.

EXCESSIVE PENALTY

Athletes, supporters and other well-thinking Jamaicans always knew that the initial penalty instituted by JADCO was beyond excessive. That said, none of us could realistically take pride in the knowledge that the body set up to arbitrate in such crucial matters could have been so wrong so consistently and on different scores.

Recall that earlier this year, the International Association of Athletics Federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency had recommended a reduction in the ban and had forwarded their decision to JADCO for ratification. However, none of the members of the panel were available for signing the agreement.

In light of CAS's recent chastisement of JADCO in the Veronica Campbell-Brown case, who was exonerated of all charges against her, that there is room for the members of JADCO's Disciplinary Panel to exercise a greater sense of fairness and competence in their handling of these matters.

AGOSTINHO PINNOCK

ohnitsoga2@gmail.com