KINGSTON: Jamaica’s efforts to improve its drug testing program have been praised by President of the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), Craig Reedie.
Following a recent one-week visit to the island, Reedie said Jamaica is an excellent case study that can be used to improve drug testing programs in other countries.
Jamaica has been attempting to repair its drug testing program since a number of its athletes, including former world record holder Asafa Powell and Olympic gold medalist Sherone Simpson, tested positive for banned substances.
“We are proud of what you have achieved,” Reedie said during an address to Jamaican media. “You have become an excellent case study, because there are many areas of the world which need the enthusiasm and the ability that you have shown.”
In November 2013, the entire board of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) resigned in the wake of a doping scandal.
New measures taken included an increase in government budget for drug testing, increase in the number of tests carried out as well as the hiring of senior executives to run the anti-doping program.
Reedie believes JADCO has done an outstanding job in attempting to restore the world’s confidence in the organization.
“Nobody could be anything but hugely impressed by the amount of work that has been done,” he said. “WADA, I would like to think, helped a little bit with a couple of visits. You were wise in co-operating with the CCES, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (which is) a first-class Anti-Doping organization.”
Reedie’s stint in Jamaica included meetings with the boards of the JADCO and the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), as well as Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.