Sport

Wright under fire

JADCO Doping Control Officer in WRIGHT

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 06, 2014    

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JAMAICA Anti-Doping Commission's (JADCO's) Doping Control Officer, Dr Paul Wright, was severely grilled by the attorney for Sherone Simpson during yesterday's sitting of the anti-doping hearing of the Olympic silver medallist at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

Dr Wright, a witness for JADCO, admitted he was embarrassed at times by the line of the cross-examination by Kwame Gordon, who also questioned the credentials of the noted medic as it related to his expertise in the area

of supplements.

Gordon brought into stark focus that Dr Wright had failed three times to pass the medical examination at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

"Have you received any certification that gives you the authority to speak on how a supplement works in a human body?" asked Gordon. "Yes," replied

Dr Wright.

Wright was then shown a copy of his qualifications and asked to show the medical training that he received that allowed him to speak authoritatively

on supplements in a human body.

"I am trained as a medical doctor and graduated in 1976, a diploma in sports medicine from Leipzig University in East Germany," said Wright.

Gordon shot back: "Did you do the bachelor of Medicine at the University of the West Indies?"

Dr Wright replied: "No, sir."

"In fact, you were unsuccessful on three occasions, is that correct?" asked Gordon. "Yes, sir," Dr Wright confirmed.

"And that exam is the exam that determined if you are qualified to do a Bachelor of medicine (degree), and you failed that exam on three occasions?" Gordon quizzed. Again, Dr Wright replied, "Yes, sir".

"So, it is after failing that exam on three occasions that you went to London? Did you do a medical degree in London? Do you consider it to be an equivalent to MBBS?"

"Yes, sir," Dr Wright answered promptly.

Gordon: "Why did you not do the MBBS? Is it because you have failed on three occasions and could not do it?"

"Yes sir," said Dr Wright.

Gordon sat back in his chair, took a deep breath, and then proceeded. "Listen to me very carefully now, do you still maintain that you have the authority to speak about supplements in light of what I have just said?"

"Yes, sir," said Dr Wright firmly. "I was subsequently trained in East Germany in sports medicine which included supplements."

At yesterday morning's session, Dr Wright who appeared for JADCO, made a PowerPoint presentation in which he advised that athletes should not take supplements and suggested that most manufacturers

of these products have criminal records.

He made it clear that JADCO categorically does not support the taking of supplements and warned constantly against its consumption.

"If a supplement promises to deliver something and you take that supplement and it delivers it, that substance is banned," said Dr Wright.

"The people who make supplements are in this thing for money and as an exposé printed in the USA Today, that showed categorically that the people who are in the supplement business all have criminal records," claimed Dr Wright, who has over 35 years of experience in dealing with doping cases.

He later adjusted his statement to "most", and not "all", those who deal in the supplement business, have criminal records.

Gordon then bombarded Dr Wright with questions about JADCO's educational programmes and suggested to him that it was unacceptable, to not even have a website to inform athletes about anti-doping.

"Would you agree with me that it is unacceptable since 2008 for JADCO not to have any such facility in place?"

Dr Wright paused, then laughed. "Forgive my answer to that question (as it) got me in serious trouble already, sir."

"The panel is here to protect you. So please let us have your answer," Gordon shot back.

"I have been writing letters to anybody who would accept my letters that they had to do things like this," said Dr Wright.

So you think it's unacceptable for JADCO to conduct its affairs like this?" Gordon asked.

After a brief pause, Dr Wright laughed, and said: "Is there a Fifth Amendment in this country? Counsel, that's a very embarrassing question for me on a personal note."

The Fifth Amendment to, which Dr Wright referred, is a part of the American constitution that provides several trial protections, including the right against self-incrimination.

The hearing, which started on Tuesday, wrapped up all the normal proceedings with the final two witnesses,

Dr Wright and Catty Rattray-Samuels, a former JADCO director, taking the stand yesterday.

It will continue on February 25 where both Gordon and JADCO attorney Lackston Robinson are expected to present their final submissions to the three-member Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel of Lennox Gayle, Dr Jephthah Ford and Peter Prendergast.

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