The declaration by former JADCO Executive Director, Renee Anne Shirley, has sent the Jamaican sporting fraternity scrambling. Some areas of the sporting fraternity are taking the accusations more seriously than the other, however, while it is clear that Jamaica has to pay keener attention to The Business of Sport; the procedures and regulations of the work of JADCO must be clearer to all those concerned.
The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) was formally established in 2008 with the passing of the Anti-Doping in Sport Act. The Commission embraces the basic principles of fairness, fair play, respect; while the education programme aims to promote the ethics and spirit of sport.
Ms. Shirley was integral in developing the Charter of Operations while the Sport portfolio fell under Local Government, then headed by the Prime Minister who was the Minister in charge at the time. As we all know the Sport portfolio moves with Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller, so when she became the PM, the rule followed.
JADCO has so far had two EDs…i.e. Shirley and Dr. Patrece Charles Freeman, both of which have had multiple positive test results to ‘manage’. Unfortunately under both their watch information leaked to the press and as a result the sensationalising of those stories spread like wild fire.
To the business at hand though, the timing of the article/expose is not to be ignored. It is in keeping with the expected scrutiny of Jamaica since the athletes have over-performed from the perspective of the eyes of the world. What that means is Jamaica has to ensure that
- Its policies are clear
- Its communication programmes are effective
- Use the tertiary institutions as key partners
- Engage the high schools’ senior programmes
- Its officials are the ones best fitting the roles in keeping with international standards
- It has sufficient funds and resources to manage the procedures
- Its volunteers/staff do training at other locations across the world
What this revelation has done is shown the obvious gaps with COMMUNICATION. Nothing more; Nothing less.
News is emerging that WADA wants to be clearer on the procedure of Jamaica and its anti-doping efforts http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=47408
In defence of the programme the Chairman of the Board and/or the new ED, must
- Expose the facts
- Number of tests done (in and out of season)
- The number of athletes (elite and others)
- The number of sports
The fact is, Jamaica has been the place where 90 per cent if not more of its positive tests have been found, which means at least no tampering has been done. Also, records have shown that the Jamaican athletes are among one of the most tested athletes in the world.
While I disagree with Ms Shirley’s methodology of getting this information out, she was next to the seat of power in better days and could have been taken much more seriously, but instead, after the falling out since the job loss, she has nothing but try to smear the programme.
The international events for Jamaica’s athletes are ongoing, so should the education programme for anti-doping. Let’s improve all the programmes and make the procedures clear. The scrutiny continues.