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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) intends to ramp up the Public Education Programme in the High Schools, and commence the sensitisation programmes at the Primary School level.

She also noted that this would be done for the Programme for Athlete Support Personnel, to include coaches, trainers, teachers, parents and members of the general public.

The Prime Minister was delivering a Statement in the House of Representatives, today (July 16),  following  news of the Adverse Analytical Findings found in the “A” samples provided by five Jamaican athletes who participated in the Junior and Senior Trials, which were held at the National Stadium in June.

“We need to initiate a system for High School level testing for athletes involved in training and competition in sport, in accordance with appropriate approvals from the Ministry of Education, ISSA and the parents and guardians of these youngsters,” Mrs. Simpson Miller emphasised.

The Prime Minister said the country stood by “our athletes and value the significant contributions they make toward engendering national pride.”

“However, as a country we reiterate the importance of integrity in sport, fair play, and the maintenance of a doping free sporting environment,” Mrs. Simpson Miller  declared.

The Prime Minister said that the JADCO website is being updated to include a link to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, which includes substances and methods prohibited in and out of competition.

“It is important to note that our premier Physical Education institution, the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, has been offering, for the last 15 years as part of its Sports Medicine course, full coverage of the Anti-Doping rules.  It is time that we seek to include the teaching of these rules as part of the Physical Education curriculum in our High Schools,” Mrs. Simpson Miller emphasised.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister is urging Jamaicans to refrain, at this time, from making judgments and conclusions about what has been reported in the media.

“Let us not be disheartened. Let us continue to allow the results management process to run its course,” she said.

The Prime Minister told the House that JADCO received Certificates of Analysis for five Adverse Analytical Findings from the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada. One Adverse Analytical Finding was reported from the National Junior Championships and four Adverse Analytical Findings were reported from the National Senior Championships.

The Agency immediately initiated the Results Management process, with its Anti-Doping Rule Violation Review Panel conducting the Initial Reviews on July 10, 2013 and July 12, 2013 for the Adverse Analytical Findings, respectively.

Mrs. Simpson Miller informed that JADCO has sent written notifications to all the athletes –one was hand delivered on July 11, 2013 and the other four were sent via e-mail on July 12 and 13, 2013. To date, only two athletes have acknowledged receipt of the notifications.

She noted that all affected athletes are to provide a response to the notification by Friday, July 19, 2013 and to indicate if he or she requires his or her “B” sample to be analysed.

The Prime Minister explained that JADCO has the authority to test all athletes in Jamaica, including local and international athletes.

The testing programme is guided by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Code, including the International Standard for Testing, the Anti-Doping in Sport Act, 2008, the Jamaica Policy Against Doping in Sport (2005) and the JADCO Anti-Doping Rules 2008, and complies with all the procedures and rules stipulated to ensure the validity of the testing process.