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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