Above: Minister Natalie Neita Headley
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica is “committed” to developing and preserving integrity in sport at all levels, Minister Without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Natalie Neita Headley, said this week.
The Minister, whose focus is sport, said the government was reiterating its “longstanding and relentless commitment to integrity in sport and to the maintenance of a doping free sporting environment.”
She was speaking following the revelation of several failed drug tests by Jamaican athletes, including Olympic medalists Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.
“It is clear from the Eight Hundred and Sixty (860) tests conducted by JADCO since 2009 that JADCO has demonstrated that it is achieving its mandate,” she said. “As we continue to encourage and support our athletes in their pursuit of excellence in sport, we stand firmly in our resolve that high quality performance and excellence can be achieved from talent, training and hard work.”
She said Jamaica’s anti-doping body, JADCO, had implemented a “rigorous and robust testing programme for in and out of competition as well as public education for all who participate or wish to participate in sport.”
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has announced plans to begin drug testing at the high school level for athletes.