Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pound: More drugs tests for Jamaicans

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LONDON – Jamaican athletes, who have dominated the sprint events at the London Olympics should now expect more visits by drugs testers, former anti-doping chief Dick Pound said yesterday.
Usain Bolt stormed to victory in both the 100 metres and 200 metres with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce snatching gold in the women’s 100 as the Caribbean island consolidated its domination of the blue riband events.
The men’s 4×100-metre team also set a new world record yesterday.
“No, they are one of the groups that are hard to test, it is [hard] to get in and find them and so forth,” former World Anti-Doping Agency chief Pound told Reuters Television when asked whether he was happy with the way Jamaica tested its athletes.
“I think they can expect, with the extraordinary results that they have had, that they will be on everybody’s radar,” said Pound, an International Olympic Committee member.
Jamaica won a clean sweep in the men’s 200 metres with Yohan Blake and Warren Weir winning silver and bronze behind Bolt.
Blake was also second to Bolt in the 100 metres and the duo also combined with Nesta Carter and Michael Frater to retain the 4×100-metre relay title in a world record time. It was Bolt’s third gold for the second successive Games.
Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica also claimed bronze in the women’s 100 metres behind Fraser-Pryce.
Pound said the IOC was still a long way away from winning the fight against doping with 11 athletes being expelled from the Games since the start of the Olympic period on July 16.
“I think it is too soon to say. I think we are gaining and getting better at science,” said Pound, WADA’s first president.
“We are starting to get better at smart testing. But there is a long way to go yet. In Churchillian terms, it is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.”
Victor Conte, convicted owner of the now-defunct BALCO laboratory that was at the centre of a global doping scandal, had said earlier this week that 60 per cent of athletes at the Games were on drugs.
“He is probably more likely to know than we are. I hope it is not 60 per cent, but it is certainly a lot more than we are catching,” Pound said.
“The drug testing that will be done here is first class. I would not expect many cases at the Olympics because if you test positive here you fail not a drugs test but an IQ test.”
The IOC will run more than 5 000 tests at the Games that end today.
More than 100 athletes were also caught using banned substances in the months leading up to the Games following increased testing by national and international anti-doping agencies, designed to root out cheats before they arrived in London. (Reuters)

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