Sport

Reggae Boyz Doc Out

'Pee Wee' Fraser suspended over Hue's drug result

Sunday, August 04, 2013    

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Dr Carlton Fraser, a member of the medical staff of the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) national teams, has been suspended as part of the ongoing investigation into the recent positive drug test returned by 'Reggae Boy' Jermaine Hue.

The Jamaica Observer understands that the 66-year-old Dr Fraser was sanctioned following a meeting of the JFF medical committee over a week-and-a-half ago, for his role in administering the banned drug to the unsuspecting player.

The 35-year-old Hue returned an adverse analytical finding on his urine sample taken following the World Cup Qualifying match away to Honduras on June 11. The banned drug is dexamethasone, a glucocorticoid.

Dr Fraser, more popularly known as 'Pee Wee', was unable to provide the Sunday Observer with any details. "I am forbidden from talking to the media during the investigation," was all Dr Fraser would say, when contacted yesterday.

It is understood that Dr Fraser was unaware that the drug that landed Hue in trouble was on the banned list of substances.

Chairman of the JFF's medical committee, Dr Guyan Arscott, asked for "patience", even as he promised to provide an update soon.

"We will send out some updates on it, so just be a little more patient with us," he said last week.

He added: "Well, clearly these things always have to be investigated locally and internationally. That's the normal route, but we will give you some more soon.

"Once we get past a certain stage I'll be a little more open for discussion with the media. Just begging you for a little more patience. I have not mentioned no names or anything yet, so just leave it at that. Let us be fair about it and you will be informed."

A source close to Dr Fraser told the Sunday Observer that the trained surgeon, who graduated from Howard University in 1975, was particularly concerned that Hue could face a possible two-year ban for being treated "for

genuine indication".

The Sunday Observer was unable to obtain why the player was treated with dexamethasone. However, according to www.stanford.edu/group/hopes, natural glucocorticoids are steroid hormones with powerful anti-inflammatory effects produced by the human body. Glucocorticoids drugs are usually synthetic compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of natural glucocorticoids.

The website further revealed that while glucocorticoid drugs are steroids, they are unlike the anabolic steroids that some athletes take to build up and increase their muscle mass. Glucocorticoids are catabolic steroids, which means that they are designed to break down the body's stored resources through their various metabolic effects. As stated above, glucocorticoids have two principal effects in the body: metabolic and anti-inflammatory. It therefore follows that glucocorticoid drugs affect both metabolism and inflammation.

Hue did not participate in the game against Honduras, but was one of the two obligatory random selections for drug testing at every international game. The testing was conducted by FIFA, and the ensuing process will be managed by the world governing body.

It is understood that the player, who is said to be off the island, has waived his rights to having the 'B' sample tested at the lab in Bogota, Colombia.

The JFF had earlier acknowledged that a player returned the adverse analytical finding, adding in a statement on Wednesday, July 24 that "the player has been informed and we await further information from FIFA.

"The JFF has taken this matter very seriously and a thorough investigation has already started by the chairman of the JFF medical committee," the statement added.

The dreadlocked Fraser, a former personal friend of Reggae great, Robert Nesta 'Bob' Marley, also served as Marley's medical doctor up to the time of the legend's death from cancer in 1981. Dr Fraser, who now practises integrative medicine, started working with the JFF as team doctor for the Under-17s in 2007, and was on the Reggae Boyz's bench as team doctor for the first time in a friendly game against Panama here at Kingston's National Stadium on June 7, 2009.

Hue, who for many years represented Harbour View in the National Premier League, is said to

be distraught.

"I think there are extenuating circumstances. It is a sensitive matter and we have to try and protect the player and everybody, but I hope that things will work out in a way where it won't affect him. If you want to play, but you have some pain and you are sick and a doctor gives you something to help you, nobody can hold you responsible," JFF president Captain Horace Burrell had told the press after news of the positive finding broke.

FIFA's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak, who it is said, is leading the investigation, only last Friday insisted that doping is not a significant problem in football.

"I am confident that there is no systematic doping in football," he told FIFA's official website on Friday. "There is no systematic doping culture in football. I am confident of this.

"Of course there are individual cases, for sure. We do more than 30,000 sampling procedures every year and we have between 70 to 90 positive cases, most of them for marijuana and cocaine, and we also have anabolic steroids, but these are individual cases."

FIFA launched biological profiling back in February, similar to the biological passport in cycling.

It was tested at June's Confederations Cup, and will be again at next year's World Cup.

Dvorak says FIFA will try to get other organisations on board.

"And now we are also in discussion with UEFA and other confederations to start this biological profile in the confederations, so all the top players will be registered," he added.

"And if we have a suspicion, then we go into the more intelligent and targeted testing."

The football doping revelation followed news the previous week of five Jamaican athletes, who all returned positive results, among them revered sprinter and former world record holder over 100 metres, Asafa Powell, and Olympic 100-metre silver medallist Sherone Simpson.

Both tested positive for the banned stimulant, oxilofrine.

Jamaica's next World Cup qualification match is an away fixture to Panama on September 6.

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