Mills urges Jamaican government to act

The coach to Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake wants top class anti-doping laboratory

Two-time Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica tested positive for a banned diuretic and faces a two year ban from athletics competition. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Two-time Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica tested positive for a banned diuretic and faces a two year ban from athletics competition. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

 

The Jamaican government needs to establish an accredited anti-doping laboratory to protect its world-class athletes from taking contaminated substances, according to Glen Mills, the the coach of world record holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt.

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 a time for (the) nation to step forward and provide with a service that athletes can use to ensure the purity of substances that they have to use for treatment or whatever,” Mills said in an interview with RJR 94FM radio in Jamaica.

His call follows reports that Jamaica’s most decorated female 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 meeting but have 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 lab so that athletes can have substances tested and verified before usage,” Mills said.

“It’s a minefield out there,” the long-time coach added. “Any substance that you take up could be contaminated.”

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

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

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