Renee Anne Shirley sheds light on current Jamaican anti-doping situation

One time whistleblower and ex-executive director of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission chats to Off The Ball

BY Raf Diallo 21:43 Wednesday 25 January 2017, 21:43 25 Jan 2017

Picture by Mark Baker AP/Press Association Images

On Wednesday afternoon, it was confirmed that Usain Bolt has lost one of his nine Olympic titles because of a team-mate's failed drugs test.

The Jamaican sprint team that won the men's 4x100-metres relay at Beijing 2008 have been stripped of the medals won in that event due to Nesta Carter's doping violation.

On Wednesday night's Off The Ball, Renee Anne Shirley joined Ger Gilroy to discuss the anti-doping situation in Jamaica.

Previously, she used to be the executive director of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission and also a whistleblower regarding how lax anti-doping was in Jamaica.

"In terms of the situation in Jamaica when I was there, which is 2012-2013, I had come in and my problem was seeing that there had not been out of competition testing on Jamaican athletes prior to going to the Olympics in 2012, the London Olympics," she said.

"You have to try and catch athletes in what we call the off-season and certainly out of competition. No notice testing needs to be done."

She cites the period between February and October during an athletic year to be crucial when it comes to testing.

"The other thing was blood testing was not being done in Jamaica so those were the two things that were of a concern to me," she added, explaining that simple urine tests are not enough.

"We're getting these results now because some re-tests were done. The question we have: Who did you not re-test?" she said, adding that the identity of athletes that have not been re-tested are not known. 

"If you just go back and look at the total number of tests that we're done in each year and then you look at the re-tests, you will see that you're not even talking 50% of re-testing."

But she feels that Jamaica have "upped their game" in regards to anti-doping in recent times.

"In the current situation, I think that there is certainly much more testing going on in Jamaica," she said, but added that the important thing is that "testing is done along with investigation". 

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