Athletics Athletics

Tight-lipped WADA team in Jamaica


asafa powellKINGSTON, Jamaica, October 29 – A tight-lipped three-member World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) team arrived in Jamaica Monday to begin what is expected to be a two day extraordinary audit of Jamaica’s drug testing system.

The team headed by WADA’s director of education and program development Rob Koehler, also includes Rune Anderson, the global anti-doping agency’s director of standards and harmonization, and Kerwin Clarke, manager of program development.

The trio arrived in Jamaica on Monday afternoon but declined to respond to questions posed by members of the local media.

After a stop at their Kingston hotel, the team then went to JADCO headquarters, where the only media allowed to follow them were from Jamaica Information Service, the media arm of the government.

The visit comes after reports that Jamaica’s athletes could face an Olympic ban if Jamaican anti-doping authorities were found to be non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.

WADA had voiced concerns earlier this year after former Jamaica anti-doping chief Renee Anne Shirley described flaws in the country’s drug testing system.

The agency was invited to look into the claims by the Office of the Prime Minister and started meetings on Monday with the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), headed by Dr Herbert Elliott.

The audit is understood to encompass a variety of areas including JADCO’s drug testing program, staffing, governance, education program and status of current positive tests after a total of seven Jamaican athletes, including five from track and field, failed drug tests this year.

JADCO last week appointed Carey Anthony Brown a chemist employed by the government, as its new Executive Director to replace Shirley, who left the commission earlier this year.

A release from the Office of the Prime Minister said Brown, “combines qualification and experience as a business management specialist with an MBA degree from the Manchester Business School and a Diploma in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies with a BSc degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry, also from the UWI”.