Jamaica must set up its own dope-testing lab, says Usain Bolt's coach

National agency will help athletes avoid risky substances, Usain Bolt's coach says

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 4:48am

Jamaica's government needs to set up an accredited anti-doping laboratory to protect its world-class athletes from taking contaminated substances, the coach of world record holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt says.

Glen Mills, who mentors Bolt and world 100 metres champion Yohan Blake, said Jamaican athletes faced a minefield of substances and had little way of checking their validity.

"It's definitely time for the nation to step forward and provide a service that athletes can use to ensure the purity of substances that they have to use for treatment or whatever," Mills told RJR 94FM radio in Jamaica.

His call follows reports that Jamaica's most decorated woman sprinter, two-time Olympic 200 metres champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, tested positive for a banned diuretic at last month's Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston.

Jamaican officials have confirmed an athlete failed a doping test at the meet, but declined to give a name.

"It just re-emphasises the need for all involved to be extremely vigilant and the great need for Jamaica to establish an accredited laboratory, so athletes can have substances tested and verified before usage," Mills said.

"It's a minefield out there. Any substance that you take could be contaminated."

Samples from doping tests in Jamaica are processed in other countries, including the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory in Montreal.

A dozen Jamaican athletes have received sanctions from three months to life in the past five years, officials said.

Jamaican 400m runner Dominique Blake was the latest to be sanctioned, receiving a six-year ban last Thursday for a second doping violation.