Jamaica to Introduce Blood Testing for Athletes

News Americas Now, NEW YORK, NY, Monday, February 2, 2015-Executive Director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), Carey Brown, has indicated that the agency is well to its way to introducing blood testing by the end of the 2014/15 fiscal year.

He made the announcement at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ at the agency’s head office in Kingston.

“We are targeting before the end of the financial year, so we are putting the systems and protocols in place… we’re a good way down the track in terms of where we need to go,” Mr. Brown said.

He added that in preparation for this new sampling procedure, several officers were trained last November through funding received from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“We are in the process of [finalising] contracts with them, because we’re using phlebotomy companies, so that we will be able to start blood collection as part of our programme,” Mr. Brown explained.

In addition to the qualification of blood collection officers, several doping control officers and chaperones also received training. This will bring the total number of doping control officers to 17 and chaperones to 50.

“We have trained additional sample collection personnel, doping control officers and chaperones …and we are in the process of having the fieldwork done, so that we can certify persons,” Mr. Brown added.

In the meantime, JADCO has formed a relationship with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) laboratory based in Canada for use of its Athlete Passport Management Unit for the steroids module.

“What this means is that for urine samples, we would be monitoring the biological parameters in the sample of each individual athlete and using that to determine whether or not there are changes in competition and out of competition or throughout the year,” he said.

This form of monitoring, Mr. Brown explains, is necessary because “it is not only if you end up with a positive test that you can be cited for an anti-doping rule violation, but if your biological parameters are out of the norm, this is also an indication that you may be using prohibited substances or methods.”

Currently, JADCO only uses urine samples to test athletes for prohibited substances.

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