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WADA risking world's best athletes reputation, says Lord Coe

Published:Friday | November 15, 2013 | 4:07 PM

Lord Sebastian Coe, the British Olympic Association chairman, says the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is risking the reputation of some of the world's best athletes by not enforcing rigorous anti-doping regimes on Jamaica and Kenya.

Six Jamaican athletes tested positive this year while 17 Kenyan athletes have been suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs since January 2012.

Lord Cole says Jamaica and Kenya are two powerhouses of track and field and WADA must make sure those athletes are in a system that protects the reputation of those who choose to do it cleanly.

Coe, who is expected to succeed Lamine Diack as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2015 defended the world governing body's own drug testing programme.

He insisted the success of Usain Bolt and other Jamaican sprinters should not be viewed with suspicion.

International federations such as the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission are required to test their athletes at domestic competitions and are also expected to deliver out-of-competition testing.

JADCO has so far carried out 286 tests in 2013 – both in and out of competition – which are in addition to the tests conducted by the IAAF on a pool of 19 elite Jamaican athletes which have taken place this year.

Last week, Jamaica's most senior drug tester Dr Paul Wright told the BBC that the country's recent rash of failed tests might be the "tip of an iceberg".

However, Lord Coe believes the very fact that athletes are being caught shows that testing is working and points to more than 700 IAAF drugs tests on Jamaican competitors last year, while questioning how many WADA carried out in the same time period.

Jamaica has vowed to increase the current annual testing budget after it emerged that JADCO had conducted only one out-of-competition test in the six months leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

That revelation followed a series of positive tests for Jamaican athletes which resulted in WADA visiting the country at the end of October to assess its doping policies.

Meanwhile, WADA, is expected to reveal its report into an audit of Jamaica's drug testing programme today.

Concerns over Jamaica's drugs testing regime were raised after former executive director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) Renee Anne Shirley said the agency had conducted only one out-of-competition test in the six months leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.


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