AP: WADA launching ‘extraordinary’ investigation of Jamaica drug-testing agency
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Jamaica’s drug-testing issues needed to be looked at in August, and it’s following up on those assertions.
WADA confirmed to The Associated Press that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) had a lack of testing in the months leading into the 2012 Olympics, where Jamaica won 12 track and field medals, led by Usain Bolt‘s triple gold performance.
WADA “is concerned enough to investigate,” the AP reported Monday. It wouldn’t be the first audit of Jamaica’s anti-doping.
“It’s an extraordinary visit,” WADA Director General David Howman told the AP, adding that Jamaica is “a high priority ... they’re on our radar.”
Bolt, 27, addressed the reports of Jamaica’s lack of drug testing before his final Diamond League meet of the season one month ago.
“It’s funny when I heard that they said they’re gonna ban Jamaica from the next Olympics,” Bolt said. “I kind of laughed because that would be kind of interesting to see.”
Bolt, who has never failed a drug test, was tested at least 12 times last year, according to the AP, citing track and field’s international governing body (IAAF). Of course, that includes tests outside of JADCO.
“Sometimes they will come like six times in one month and then you won’t see them for two months and then they come three times in one week,” Bolt told the AP a month ago. “So I don’t really keep track. I just get drug tested when I do.”
Seven-time Olympic medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned diuretic May 4 and hasn’t competed since June. Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell and 2008 Olympic 100m silver medalist Sherone Simpson said they tested positive for a banned stimulant in June.
In August, WADA said “serious issues” were raised in a report that Jamaica carried out one out-of-competition drug test in the five months leading up to the 2012 Olympics.
“There was a period of -- and forgive me if I don’t have the number of months right -- but maybe five to six months during the beginning part of 2012 where there was no effective operation,” Howman told the AP in Monday’s story. “No testing. There might have been one or two, but there was no testing. So we were worried about it, obviously.”
Howman told the AP that WADA expects to check out JADCO at the end of this year or early next year, to see if “what they’re doing is of significant quality.”