Speech

Mr Speaker, We are all aware at this time that Jamaica’s track and field programme is being scrutinized from top to bottom as a result of the recent news of the Adverse Analytical Findings in the A-samples provided by some of our best athletes during the National Junior and Senior Championships which were held at the National Stadium from June 15th and 16th and 20th – 23rd respectively.

 

Mr Speaker, I wish to provide this Honourable House with the following details which will give some clarity as to what we know to be factual from the perspective of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) and the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association (JAAA).

Mr Speaker:

  1. JADCO has received Certificates of Analysis for five (5) Adverse Analytical Findings from the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada.
  2. These samples were collected from Jamaican athletes at the National Junior and Senior Championships in June 2013.
  3. One (1) Adverse Analytical Finding was reported from the National Junior Championships and four (4) Adverse Analytical Findings were reported from the National Senior Championships.
  4. JADCO immediately initiated the Results Management process, with its Anti-Doping Rule Violation Review Panel conducting the Initial Reviews on 10 July 2013 and 12 July 2013 for the Adverse Analytical Findings respectively.
  5. JADCO has sent written notifications to all athletes – one (1) was hand delivered on 11 July 2013 and the other four (4) were sent via e-mail on 12 & 13 July 2013.

UPDATE

Mr Speaker,

  1. To date, only two (2) athletes have acknowledged receipt of the notifications.
  2. JADCO, in the notifications, requested each athlete to provide a response by Friday, 19 July 2013 and to indicate if he or she required his or her B Sample to be analysed.
  3. It is to be noted that reports in the media indicate that all athletes have received notifications.

B Sample Analysis

Mr Speaker,

  1. One (1) athlete has requested analysis of the B Sample.
  2. The WADA accredited laboratory in Montreal has provided two (2) possible dates for the analysis and the athlete was notified.
  3. The athlete has advised that neither they nor a representative will attend their B sample opening; and
  4. JADCO has advised the laboratory of this and the athlete of the date of analysis of the B sample.

NEXT STEPS

Mr Speaker, at this time these are the next steps.

  1. JADCO awaits the responses of the other athletes and their requests for B sample analysis.
  2. JADCO will seek dates for B sample analysis from the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for all athletes following their requests. If the athletes waive this right, JADCO will deliberate on the matter and decide, if JADCO will request the B sample analysis.
  3. Following the provision of the Certificates of Analysis for the B samples, JADCO will continue the Results Management process, in accordance with the results.
  4. This may include the referral of the cases to the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, as determined.
  5. JADCO plans to issue periodic Press Releases starting tomorrow, 17 July 2013 following the meeting of the Commission, to update the public on the Results Management process and the steps being taken, while maintaining the requisite confidentiality.
  6. JADCO will also advise the public on the Doping Control testing programme and number of tests that have been done since JADCO started testing in 2009.

Mr Speaker, Let me take this opportunity to assure the Members of this Honourable House and the People of Jamaica that Jamaica through its Anti-Doping Agency, JADCO has consistently had a rigorous programme for in and out of competition testing while providing public education for all who participate or wish to participate in sport, including at the high school level.

Mr. Speaker, The rigour of this programme is not new and it is clear that it is effective as it is from our own testing protocol that the adverse findings in these A-Samples have been revealed.

 

Mr. Speaker, Questions have been raised regarding the delayed response of the Government to the public announcement of these findings. Let me assure you, Mr Speaker that as a Government we have made every effort to adhere to the rules governing the notification of the athletes whose A-Samples have returned Adverse Analytical Findings following testing at the National Junior and Senior Championships in June. Indeed, Mr Speaker, one of the athletes was only notified yesterday as he was traveling so we had to delay our public statement until we were sure that due process was observed.

 

Mr Speaker, We stand by all 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, fairplay, and the maintenance of a doping free sporting environment.

Mr Speaker, JADCO has the authority to test all athletes in Jamaica, this includes 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.

JADCO conducts mainly two (2) types of testing:

  1. In-Competition Testing- A type of testing that can start up to twelve (12) hours before a competition begins to the end of the competition.
  2. Out-of-Competition Testing – Any testing that is not In-Competition. Athletes in the National Registered Testing Pool are tested Out-of-Competition.

JADCO may also decide to target athletes for testing based on a set of established criteria.

Since May 2009, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has conducted a total of Eight Hundred and Sixty (860) tests. Five Hundred and Four (504) of these tests were conducted In-Competition while the remaining Three Hundred and Fifty Six (356) tests were conducted Out-of-Competition.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission has conducted testing in thirteen (13) sports.

  • Athletics
  • Body Building
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Mauy-Thai
  • Netball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Volleyball
  • Hockey

 

Adverse Analytical Findings

During the testing period May 2009 – June 2013, JADCO, as the Testing Authority, has received reports of fifteen (15) Adverse Analytical Findings and has notified the respective athletes of this and asserted Anti-Doping Rule Violations. There were six (6) Adverse Analytical Findings in 2009, two (2) in 2011, two (2) in 2012 and five (5) in 2013, to date. The sixth Adverse Analytical Finding for this year was based on testing conducted by JADCO on behalf of the IAAF as the Testing Authority.

 

Ten (10) of these Anti-Doping Rule Violations were referred to the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and the athletes have received varying levels of sanctions. For six (6) of these ten (10) Adverse Analytical Findings, the athletes cited the use of supplements which they claimed contained the respective Prohibited Substance.

 

Results indicating five (5) of the Adverse Analytical Findings were recently received and B sample analyses have not yet been conducted. Further information on this will be provided following the receipt of these results.

 

 ADVERSE ANALYTICAL FINDINGS BY YEAR SPORT PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES
2009
1 Athletics Methylhexanamine
2 Athletics Methylhexanamine
3 Athletics Methylhexanamine
4 Athletics Methylhexanamine
5 Athletics Methylhexanamine
6 Bodybuilding Cannabis
2011
1 Athletics Furosemide
2 Netball Clomiphene Metabolites
2012
1 Athletics Psuedoephedrine
2 Athletics Methylhexanamine
2013
1 – 5 Athletics Results of B Sample analysis are awaited

 

The issues of supplements, Mr Speaker is one that we implore all our athletes and citizens alike to be mindful of.

Mr Speaker, the US Food and Drug Administration describes dietary supplements to “include vitamins, minerals, and other less familiar substances — such as herbals, botanicals, amino acids, and enzymes. Dietary supplements are also marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, and gelcaps. While some dietary supplements are fairly well understood, others need further study.”

Mr Speaker, the FDA goes on to note that “Dietary supplements are not approved by the government for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. If the dietary supplement contains a NEW ingredient, that ingredient will be reviewed by FDA (not approved) prior to marketing – but only for safety, not effectiveness.”

“The manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are responsible for making sure their products are safe BEFORE they go to market. Manufacturers are required to produce dietary supplements to minimum quality standards and ensure that they do not contain contaminants or impurities, and are accurately labelled.”

Mr Speaker, if this is the full extent of what is required for a dietary supplement to enter the marketplace, it seems to me our athletes need to be far more vigilant in protecting themselves from substance that could not only show up on WADA’s Prohibited List but could prove harmful to them.

 

Mr Speaker, As a nation we have a lot more to do to safeguard integrity in sport and protect Brand Jamaica.

  1. We intend to ramp up the Public Education Programme within our High Schools and commence the sensitization programmes at the Primary School level as well as the Programme for Athlete Support Personnel to include coaches, trainers, teachers, parents and members of the general public;
  2. 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;
  3. The JADCO website is being updated to include a link to the WADA Prohibited List, which includes Substances and Methods prohibited In- and Out-of-Competition.

Mr Speaker, 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 fifteen (15) years as part of its Sports Medicine course full coverage of the Anti-Doping rules.  It is time, Mr Speaker, that we seek to include the teaching of these Rules as part of the Physical Education Curriculum in our High Schools.

Mr Speaker, I ask Jamaica 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.