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Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, has called on Jamaicans globally to unite in support of the nation’s athletes, as they enter competition on today’s (Aug. 15) opening of the 12th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Championships in Berlin, Germany.
The Minister, who heads the country’s track and field delegation in Berlin, said Jamaicans should not be distracted by the side issues surrounding the nation’s athletics, and urged them to rally behind the team’s members, who have shown, on numerous occasions, that they are world champions.
“We have been going through a difficult period and most of us would have felt some disappointment over the doping issue and the developments at the training camp with the MVP athletes. Nevertheless, I am confident that our programme for Berlin is on track. We have risen above challenges in the past and done well. We are a resilient people and I don’t think we should let anything dampen our spirits. Let us rekindle the flames of Beijing, and take Berlin by storm,” she implored.
Calling for public support she said: “The athletes need to feel your support; they need to know that you believe in them. Wear your colours and show your support, because Jamaica will do very well at these championships, and, once again, show the world that we are winners.”
Minister Grange said the problems swirling around Jamaican athletics are part and parcel of the road to success. She said Jamaica’s achievements on the world stage have placed the nation in the position where systems and structures have to be upgraded to First World standard in the shortest possible time. She referred to the establishment of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) just under a year, noting that it was a safeguard for the athletics legacy of the pioneers and the stars of the future.
“Jamaica’s athletics programme is so important to the nation that we have to do everything possible to maintain its credibility. That was why we established JADCO in such a short time. Even though our athletes were being tested by the IAAF in and out of competition, it was important that we showed commitment at the local level and put the necessary safeguards in place in order to protect our culture of dope-free performance,” Ms. Grange underscored.

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