Kingston, Feb 1: Jamaica is on the verge of introducing blood testing for its athletes as the country continues its effort to recover from a doping scandal which rocked the sport of track and field here nearly two years ago.
Executive Director of the Jamaica Anti–Doping Commission (JADCO), Carey Brown, Saturday said blood testing will be introduced by the end of the 2014/15 fiscal year.
“We are putting the systems and protocols in place… we’re a good way down the track in terms of where we need to go,” said Brown.
“We are targeting before the end of the fincial year.”
Several people, including blood collection and doping control officers, were trained last November under a UNESCO programme, as part of the preparation for the new sampling procedure.
“We are in the process of (filising) contracts with them, because we’re using phlebotomy companies, so that we will be able to start blood collection as part of our programme,” added Brown. “We have trained additiol sample collection personnel, doping control officers and chaperones… and we are in the process of having the fieldwork done, so that we can certify persons.”
A number of Jamaican athletes including former 100–metre world–record holder Asafa Powell, Olympic medallist Sherone Simpson and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell–Brown tested positive for banned substances in recent years. Currently, JADCO only uses urine samples to test athletes for prohibited substances. IANS