Jamaica on the verge of blood testing athletes

Saturday, January 31, 2015

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) — Jamaica is on the verge of introducing blood testing for its athletes as the country continues its effort to recover from a doping scandal which rocked the sport of track and field here nearly two years ago.


Executive director of the Jamaica Anti- Doping Commission (JADCO), Carey Brown, says blood testing will be introduced by the end of the 2014/15 fiscal year.


"We are putting the systems and protocols in place… we’re a good way down the track in terms of where we need to go," said Brown at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ Friday at the agency’s head office in Kingston.


"We are targeting before the end of the financial year". Several persons, including blood collection and doping control officers, were trained last November under a UNESCO programme, as part of preparation for the new sampling procedure.


"We are in the process of [finalising] contracts with them, because we’re using phlebotomy companies, so that we will be able to start blood collection as part of our programme," said Brown.


"We have trained additional sample collection personnel, doping control officers and chaperones… and we are in the process of having the fieldwork done, so that we can certify persons".


A number of Jamaican athletes, including former 100-metre worldrecord holder Asafa Powell, Olympic medallist Sherone Simpson and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown have tested positive for banned substances in recent years. Currently, JADCO only uses urine samples to test athletes for prohibited substances.


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