[QODLink]
Athletics

Another Jamaican investigated for doping

Jamaican Prime Minister is keen to test high school athletes as nation is becoming linked to doping culture.

Last Modified: 19 Jul 2013 16:09
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The urine sample of Jamaica's Traves Smikle was found to have an adverse analytical finding [AFP]

Olympic discus thrower Traves Smikle has become the latest Jamaican athlete to confirm he is being investigated in a doping scandal.

Smikle said in a statement late on Thursday that his urine sample at the Jamaica trials last month revealed an adverse analytical finding. He said he did not knowingly or willfully take any banned substance and he has requested an analysis of the B sample.

"I am very saddened and surprised by these findings, as I have never attempted to cheat and have always considered myself an ambassador for the sport and a strong supporter of drug testing,'' said Smikle, a political science major at the University of the West Indies.

The announcement came days after former 100-meter world record-holder Asafa Powell and Olympic relay gold medalist Sherone Simpson tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrone at the national championships.

Powell has said he did not cheat, while the trainer for both athletes has denied giving them performance-enhancing drugs as others have alleged.

Discus thrower Allison Randall and another unnamed athlete also returned positives for banned substances at the same meet.

In addition, Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown tested positive fora banned diuretic in May.

High priority

The doping scandal has rattled Jamaica, an island of 2.7 million people that prides itself on producing track stars, and which has won 28 medals in the last three Olympics.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said this week that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission would seek to test high school athletes for banned substances, and that officials would step up a public education campaign, even targeting primary school students.

This has been preached in our sports system... The quicker (the scandal) goes away, the better

Maurice Westney, Vice principal of Jamaica's main sporting school

The commission recently said it has conducted 504 in-competition tests and 356 out-of-competition tests since it was launched in May 2009.

Simpson Miller also said those involved in a school athletic support program would be tested, including coaches, trainers and teachers.

The announcement drew swift criticism from the public, with people saying the measure is too extreme, and that students should be tested only academically.

However, some high school athletic officials have embraced the proposal.

Maurice Westney, vice principal of the island's main sporting school, G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, said in a phone interview that he welcomed such testing.

"The proposal is very good,'' he said.

"We have to speak to different stakeholders and see how feasible and practical and legal it is to do this."

Westney said the government should deal with the doping scandal swiftly, noting that all athletes are repeatedly warned to stay away from illegal substances.

"This has been preached in our sports system," he said.

"The quicker (the scandal) goes away, the better."

470

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.

Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.