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All safeguards have been taken, says JADCO boss

Published:Monday | January 30, 2023 | 12:40 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Jamaica Anti Doping Commission (JADCO) Chairman Alexander Williams speaking at a news conference at the AC Hotel last Friday. The press conference was held at the end of the annual two-day JADCO symposium.
Jamaica Anti Doping Commission (JADCO) Chairman Alexander Williams speaking at a news conference at the AC Hotel last Friday. The press conference was held at the end of the annual two-day JADCO symposium.

With Sport Minister Olivia Grange giving the executive of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) the vote of confidence, chairman Alexander Williams has given assurances of the corrective measures now being taken to prevent what happened at last year’s Carifta Games.

Williams was speaking at a press conference on Friday, along with World Anti-Doping Agency president Witold Banka and Grange. Banka was in Jamaica for the annual two-day JADCO symposium which started last Thursday and ended the following day.

JADCO came under scrutiny following last year’s incident at the Carifta Games where Jamaica’s 42.58 seconds clocking broke the women’s Under-20 4x100m world record for the event but was not ratified because a member of the team was not tested after the race. The aftermath saw calls for the board to resign.

Williams outlined the measures which involved intense retraining as well as having a structure in place that covers in-competition testing.

“JADCO had to do knowledgeable retraining, especially for in-competition testing. So we identified the weaknesses and we did intensive investigations as to the practices that existed within the organisation, and I am pleased to say that we found no adverse practices that would be non-compliant with either WADA or any other sports organisation that might hold a competition. So, having established that, we reached out to the different sporting bodies to assist the relevant officers that made the mistake,” Williams said. “Different events call for different types of planning. But what I can tell you is that our executive director now has a draft as to how to go about in competition testing to see to it that we not only comply with WADA but the relevant rules of the event organisers of a particular event.”

With concerns still abounding about the confidence that Jamaicans should have in JADCO after the incident, Williams was adamant about the incident being an aberration, one that will not be repeated.

CHECKS AND BALANCES

“The best way to answer that is to look at what the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has said since that incident. JADCO, since that incident, has garnered trust from the JAAA, we have conducted several in-competition tests since the incident and, as far as I am aware, there have been no complaints as to how they have performed, and I think that speaks volumes,” Williams said. “I can see no way how an incident like that can take place again, given the checks and balances that have been put in place.”

Grange, who gave the board her vote of confidence, said there will be constant evaluation to address any shortfalls in the future.

“We will continue to reiterate what we have done to correct what has happened. We continue to benefit from the technical guidance through the regional office of WADA. As we identify weaknesses, we will ensure that we address those,” Grange said. “But I have been reassured by the chairman that they have put in place all the necessary safeguards, so it will not happen again and I do have confidence in the chairman and the board.”

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com