KINGSTON (Reuters) - The Jamaican government needs to establish 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 meters 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 meters 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-emphasizes 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.
Editing by Gene Cherry and Peter Rutherford