November 16 – Jamaica’s sporting brand has taken a hit since the news of the positive drug tests in 2013 has swirled the world. Track and Field is at the centre of this dilemma because in Jamaica, it is one of the major sporting disciplines on the island. The world recognizes that. It is therefore no surprise at the exclamations, sighs and deep breaths taken at these revelations. However a number of things have come to the table.
Two senior officials from the Jamaica Anti Doping Commission (JADCO) were less than professional in their outbursts over the matter and have created gaping holes for the outsiders. So BBC, Wall Street Journal, New York Times have all jumped in for the attack, and rightly so.
I need not remind you of the wide range of coverage given, but the response from Jamaica though a little slow in coming has suggested that its commitment and dedication to the integrity of the sport industry remains in tact. That is a surety we all need. What is now required is quick, decisive and progressive action.
For the record, JADCO’s jurisdiction is not only for track and field but serves the multiplicity of sporting disciplines and with the obvious lack of resources, will have to be strategic in how its operations are managed going forward.
In the last few days, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has come under pressure from Michael Fennell, Jamaica’s long standing Olympic Association President; Lord Sebastien Coe, London Olympics host and now Lamine Diack, IAAF President. See a very recent article
The IAAF President has clearly stated in his defence of Jamaica and Kenya – Diack, speaking to journalists in the build-up to tonight’s (November 16) IAAF Awards Gala in Monaco, backed the anti-doping efforts of Jamaica and Kenya, while urging WADA to stop what he called a ‘ridiculous’ series of events. In other words, WADA is out of line.
WADA strangely in its offer to help Jamaica may have hinted that help be sought from USADA; that will have to be examined as in its own shop, they have been unable to determine even their methods of discovery.
Jamaica’s sporting industry now has the best opportunity to UNITE
- Presidents must meet monthly along with their General Secretaries to keep updated with the dynamics of the global sporting industry
- Proper education and awareness programmes must now be drafted for all athletes – professional and amateur. The local tertiary institutions must make space for this in their formal programmes
- Attendance at local, regional and international workshops must now become mandatory
- The National Sport Policy should aim for its focused implementation
- The National Sport Council’s role should now be redefined as a body which clearly advances the industry
- Maybe it is high time for the SDF, INSPORT, SDC to merge into a National Sport Agency and make it more efficient in meeting the needs of the industry.
- The wide cross-section of athletes should engage professionals who are keen on making their businesses more meaningful
- Government’s role therefore has to be re-examined
Lots of templates for growth are out there and the forecast for the industry will show that the US$632 billion sport industry still can grow more….this means that Jamaica should see itself in a position to earn from this pie. It requires the right approach to knowledge, skills and attitude and application of a unified group.
Let’s transform the game