Lausanne – Jamaican anti-doping chiefs lashed out at allegations that their battle against cheats is being undermined by incompetence and inefficiency, claiming that they have a budget of over $60 million to fight the scourge.
The country's former anti-doping head Renee Anne Shirley said there were flaws in the drug testing program and that her efforts to point out inadequacies had met with hostility.
Shirley called the five positive tests among Jamaican athletes Äincluding former 100m world record-holder Asafa Powell Ä prior to last week's world championships a disaster for the country whose current sprint dominance is led by superstar Usain Bolt.
But the Jamaican anti-doping body (Jadco) said Friday they were the victims of a campaign to discredit them.
“Jadco views with deep concern the utterances by various persons in the public sphere in their attempt to discredit the work of JADCO, its Commissioners, the Government of Jamaica and the success of Jamaican athletes,” said a Jadco statement.
“It must be emphasised that it was Jadco which administered the tests in June 2013 when five of our athletes, including two of our elite athletes, were found to have returned with adverse analytical findings.
“This underscores the efficacy and effectiveness of the Jadco's testing system. Jadco therefore condemns any allegation in the public sphere of inefficiency, ineffectiveness or the incompetence of its testing system.”
Jadco was formed in 2008 and its budget has increased from $27.8 million in 2011/12 to $63.4 million for 2013/14.
The organisation claimed that in the six months leading up to the world championships, 167 in-competition dope tests were carried out and 90 out of competition.
On Thursday, world anti-doping body, Wada, said it expected to see urgent action in response to Shirley's claims which were made in an article for US magazine Sports Illustrated.
“Wada read with interest the August 20 comments made by former Jadco Executive Director Renee Anne Shirley in relation to Jamaica's drugs anti-doping program,” a Wada statement said.
“Wada expects the concerns to be addressed urgently and appropriately by Jadco and the Jamaican government, and looks forward to those responses accordingly.” – Sapa-AFP