USADA offers to help Jamaica with doping issues

The U.S. Anti-Doping agency is willing to help Jamaica’s
troubled anti-doping commission through its problems, chief
executive Travis Tygart said Wednesday.

Tygart said JADCO ”reached out” to the United States
Anti-Doping Agency soon after an inspection visit to the Caribbean
island last month by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The three bodies
had more discussions at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in
South Africa this week about the partnership.

”They need to get help,” Tygart told The Associated Press.

WADA President John Fahey has said JADCO would benefit from
being partnered with another anti-doping authority.

The WADA audit of Jamaica’s anti-doping process came after
revelations of a lack of out-of-competition testing ahead of the
2012 London Olympics. Eight Jamaican athletes have failed drug
tests this year, including former world 100 meter record holder
Asafa Powell, putting the country’s world-beating sprinters under
even more scrutiny.

”We want to see the WADA code implemented and their athletes
deserve better,” Tygart said. ”Right now they’re being let down
by their national doping (commission).”

He said the island’s near absence of out-of-competition testing
in the first six months of 2012 was ”unacceptable.”

Tygart added USADA was ”ready and willing” to help. He noted
that USADA aided its Jamaican counterpart by sending a team there
in 2009 and hosting some Jamaican officials at the USADA offices in
the United States. But the USADA head warned that it would only
work with JADCO if there was a ”concerted effort” by JADCO to
improve its anti-doping efforts.

WADA will examine the report on its two-day inspection visit to
Jamaica on the last day of the conference on Friday, after giving
JADCO and Jamaica’s sports minister Natalie Neita-Headley a chance
to review its recommendations and give feedback.

WADA director general David Howman met with Neita-Headley in
Johannesburg on Tuesday about the audit report and said she had
agreed to make the improvements WADA requested to get JADCO back on
track.

”We are working very closely together now to implement them
(the recommendations) and I am very confident that the program in
Jamaica, which suffered a little bit in the past will return to its
robust state,” Howman said. ”The issues have certainly been aired
and clarified in the best possible way with the minister.”

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