Sports Minister breaks silence on missed World Record | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

Sports Minister Olivia Grange has warned that there will be consequences for the actions taken by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) that saw a world record run of 42.58 seconds in the 4x100m relay by Jamaica’s Under-20 girls’ team, at the Carifta Games in April, not being ratified by World Athletics.

The governing body for track and field indicated on June 1 that the world record was not ratified because not all four members of the team were subjected to the required drug testing protocols immediately after the race.

Grange broke her silence on what is a major embarrassment for local track and field when she spoke about the issue on Wednesday while making her contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.

The minister announced the setting up of a disciplinary sub-committee of the JADCO board to take the appropriate action.

She also announced that compulsory re-training is to be done of all technical services staff on the rules of competition governing the major sporting organisations.

“JADCO will review all procedures or protocols, which would require an event organiser or body requesting in-competition testing to provide rules and specific instructions in a timely fashion before the event,” said Grange.

“This situation must never recur,” she added while noting that in recent years, Jamaica’s reputation for anti-doping in sport has been excellent.

“It must be maintained and built upon,” she said.

Grange told the House that it was the first world record she had witnessed on home soil. “And the fact that it will not be recorded as such is truly disappointing,” she remarked.

After the announcement by World Athletics last week, JADCO admitted that it did no test on one of the athletes after the world record run but sought to explain why it took that now ill-fated decision.

“Since one of the athletes was already tested on the 16th of April 2022, a urine sample was not collected from this athlete on the 17th of April 2022. It is customary and in JADCo’s best practice in-competition, that if an athlete is tested today in-competition, the said athlete would not be tested the following day in-competition,” JADCO said.

JADCo has since said that in the future it will ensure that all athletes breaking records are tested.

The quartet of Serena Cole, Brianna Lyston, and twin sisters Tia and Tina Clayton set the record, which has been rejected by World Athletics. Of note is that despite the setback, Jamaica still hold the record in the event with the 42.94 seconds that was set at the World U20 Championships in Kenya in August 2021. On that occasion, the quartet included Serena Cole, Tina, and Tia Clayton, and Kerrica Hill.

Meanwhile, Grange said a report she has received from JADCO Chairman, Alexander Williams following an internal investigation, states that “JADCO’s technical staff was not sufficiently knowledgeable of the World Athletics rules before the competition”.

She said the Chairman’s report also found that the failure to test one member of the relay team was “because of an apparent existing best practice at JADCO not to test an athlete twice within 24 hours in competition”.

Grange said the Chairman has reported that checks have revealed that this “best practice” is “not contained in the JADCO Rules, the International Standard for Testing, the WADA rules, and is not contained in any internal memorandum or document.

“It appears that it was an instruction originating, at least, from the time of the previous executive director,” Grange said.

“The unfortunate consequence is that the young athletes’ world record will not be ratified by World Athletics,” Grange lamented while offering a “sincere apology to the young athletes affected by this unfortunate set of circumstances for which there must be consequences”.