Posted in Leadership, Sport

Jamaica’s Anti-Doping Efforts – Solution Time

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

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.





A sport aficionado who writes, researches and presents on everything sport. A second book is out to prove her work's reach. She reads in her spare time.

10 thoughts on “Jamaica’s Anti-Doping Efforts – Solution Time

  1. This piece ought to be published in the newspaper to ensure that this information gets out. Would you consider running for leadership of the JAAA or JADCO? I follow you on Twitter and know that you would be an asset to either of these programs. Please consider it.

  2. I want them to go further. I want the names of the athletes tested and how many times they were tested (in and out of competition) by both WADA/IAAF and JADCO……elites alone will do, especially SAFP and UB. Anything less than complete transparency only lends to more innuendo. Drug testing is NOT CONFIDENTIAL. The info can be released. Let the chips fall where they may.

    1. You are right. JADCO could put an end to all the rumors and innuendo by simply releasing the information. The problem is, however, that JADCO seems to be oblivious to what is being said and unaware as to how pernicious these allegations are to our country’s reputation and to the athletes’ credibility. I really don’t think JADCO cares, and that is where the problem dwells. What I need to know is a) how our numbers compare with those of other “third-world” countries of our size and b) why it took the piece released by CNN for WADA to realize that there is a problem. What bodes well for JADCO is that, as Miss Beckford notes, in recent years, almost all of our positive tests were caught right here in Jamaica.

  3. Thank you Carole Beckford. At least someone (you) has made an attempt to add balance to what appears to be a ‘vexed’ piece by one of our own in the *foreign media*. Yes, persons have corroborated points within it BUT the ‘tone’ and timing could not have been missed. Talk about throwing cold water on the efforts of many! Smh… I’m all for solutions…let’s get things done (and done right)…but with the knowing that “solutions” are not always applied in one shot – some take time. Many definitely take money plus other resources. My question is, when you line up Jamaica in the blocs with all other countries around the world have our ‘will’ and ‘effort’ at putting things right in the administration and Business of Sports, given our minute resources, been so atrocious that we could not have been allowed at least 24 hours of celebration before that article was produced what says distributed? If yes, had the cup runneth over so badly that the ‘concern’ (or vexation) could not have been put in the public domain for discussion via Nationwide, RJR and other local media outlets? The word ‘grandstanding’ appeared to have been a recurring decimal in both the print and video releases by CNN. But who really was grandstanding? Jamaicans – there are many things that are not right with us BUT with each new day we face we have a choice: to sincerely be a part of the solution OR intently make the situation worse.

  4. Thanks for putting things in perspective and guiding us to look at the bigger picture – as usual. The gaps in the Programme are there for sure; the manner in which they were exposed regrettable; but the lesson to be learnt is clear. For a component so critical to the much touted ‘Brand Jamaica’ far too little attention is paid and too few resources allocated to The Business of Sport and the athletes for whom it is a career not just entertainment.

  5. Diplomatic, but interesting Carole. I agree with you, but we have to take the next step. I think we need to be more aggressive about our calls and the need for accountability on all levels. There is too much at stake – the reputation of past, present and future generations, and the pride of an entire nation.

  6. The article was deliberately released after the world championships to try to discredit and raise doubts about the performance of the athletes. Prior to the champs one of the SI writers alluded to the lack of testing in a tweet. He was challenged by a Jamaica Observer Sports writer but stood his ground and said he had a reliable source.

    Incidentally, after the London Olympics the Jamaica Observer published an article (see link below) in which they stated that WADA said that they were satisfied with the efforts of JADCo. So it begs the question, why was WADA happy then and are now threatening to expel Jamaica for the lack of tests over the period in question?

  7. I got one word Carole and that is ‘perspective’. I agree that JADCO needed a little wake up call but the manner in which one of our own did it.. A former head at that… was pushing it. Was our local press even considered.. Even though all press are now international but at least through them… Makes me wonder how much was the payout. Nonetheless great write up. I hope JADCO takes this in a positive stride and ‘increase their performance’ 🙂

  8. Thanks for this Carole. I also thought that while there might have been some valid points, it seemed to be a ‘vex’ piece and very unfortunate. I actually thought of reaching out to you because I figure that being the Publicist for megastar UB, you probably had some information on what’s going on. I agree that your piece should be given as much prominence as Renee’s in order to balance things out.

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