“For more than a decade, WADA has worked steadfastly to foster fairer competition and more effective education and outreach programs that encourage the values of doping-free sport… the biggest constraint ahead for WADA is limited funding. For the second consecutive year, WADA’s Foundation Board voted to keep the 2013 budget frozen at approximately $28 million, the same level of funding received in 2011, because governments did not agree to provide any additional funding.”

The statement above came from outgoing president of the World Anti-Doping Commission Jeff Fahey,  the man who has threatened to have Jamaica banned from the Olympics if it does not get its anti-doping programme up to speed. It would mean that some of the world’s best track and field athletes including Usain Bolt, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, Yohan Blake, and Warren Weir, would not be able to compete at the Rio Games in 2016.
The absence of these athletes would rob the games of much of its lustre as the sprints are still among the main drawing cards at the Olympic Games. Why? Because Fahey would choose to bully Jamaica into doing something it wants to do, plans to do but has issues doing primarily because of a lack of funding.
It is not a secret that Jamaica is broke. Debt amounting to 150 per cent of GDP has seen the economy grind to a virtual halt as the nation struggles to free itself of the shackles imposed by the untenable debt situation. With about a third of the nation living before the poverty line, jobs hard to come by, and crime racing towards record levels, the government is hard-pressed to find money to spend on the things that will help remedy the situation.
It goes without saying then that in such an environment finding money to fund a much-needed anti-doping programme is kind of like trying to find water in the middle of the Sahara.
Yes, Jamaica needs to get it’s struggling, fledgling but compliant agency up to the very best of world standards given the success of its track and field athletes over the past five years especially, but the reality is that it is not going to be easy to do. Despite some administrative bungling over the past two years, a big part of the issues that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) faces is inadequate funding. JADCO’s meagre budget of $27.9 million Jamaican dollars for 2011/2012 was doubled for 2012/2013 and was further bumped up to $63.4 million or the 2013/2014 financial year.
On paper it might look like a lot but when one factors in devaluation and inflation, it is not all that much.  The value of the Jamaican dollar has depreciated by about 15 per cent since 2011 and is now at about J$106 to one US dollar, while inflation has been estimated at about 10 per cent per year since that time. Things are hard here in Jamaica and this means hard times for everyone including those running the JADCO.
So when it comes to funding what is different between the woes that WADA faces and those faced by this impoverished Third World nation? If anything Jamaica is much worse off.
WADA likes to pretend it is not aware of the economic climate in Jamaica as it embarks on its bullying of Jamaican authorities using threats of expulsion from the Olympics to force them into raising standards at JADCO. But like WADA, JADCO has financial issues too.
“The Agency must be well-equipped to continue to fight the good fight. Without integrity, there can be no genuine achievement,” the WADA president says. It is something that the Jamaican authorities are well aware, but like Fahey’s WADA, Jamaica too has a money problem, a much bigger one.
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  1. Ise says:

    WADA – War Against Developing-countries Athletes.

    The developed world’s agenda is to keep us in the back of the buss at any cost. And of course, there are always some among us that are willing to help them.

  2. Besides the economic restraints, there are a few unsaid things that may be worth mentioning.
    The actual exercise of the public statements of suspicion of drug usage matches the lifestyle commonplace in the US. The use of drugs replaces hard work. Hurried training sessions where work is secondary so drugs are used to enhance the small inputs turning them into big gains. I’ve seen the actual description of the BALCO production labs published as a conformation of how simple an operation its facility looked like. This, as a muted suggestion saying despite Jamaica’s poverty, it is entirely conceivable for Jamaica to produce the drugs needed to produce superior athletes.
    The powers that be gained information that specific from the primary perpetrator of that BALCO operation…a convicted felon. Using any means available to smear Jamaica’s athletes smacks of a desperation that will not be easily bypassed.
    A rather haunting position to be in.
    Secondly, the methods being used by WADA and all concerned with seeing the demise of Jamaican sprinters by any other means than man to man (gender inclusion considered) on the ground, are in for a surprise.
    Brief and recent history showed that as Asafa Powell declined Bolt stepped in. As Bolt became somewhat complacent at the top, Yohan Blake emerged. As Yohan focused on the 100m…etc.
    Drugs cannot do that.
    Let’s get real here. Whatever the reason we’re seeing the WADA president among others taking and using made-up and contrived misinformation from a convicted felon to accuse Jamaica of misdeeds, it must have great implications.
    What could those implications be?

  3. Janz says:

    @Ise, your bias is just as bad as what you are accusing the “developed world” of having. It is also a back-handed comment to say the “developed world” as if Jamaica is third world.

    To address the situation at hand, if there is nothing to hide then why not comply with the WADA? If every nation that has top athletes has to submit to WADA standards, then what makes Jamaica the exception?

  4. Frankie says:

    The sad truth is that a few Jamaicans have facilitated and particptated in the marginalisation of Jamaica and its athletes on the international stage.

  5. Thatiam says:

    I have the biggest crush on writer Leighton Levy. Take me out of this misery won’t you Mr. Levy!

  6. F. A. Blackwood says:

    Yes, the Athletes do in fact bring a lustre to Jamaican life, but let me ask these questions:

    1. Are these ADULT athletes responsible for their own actions and responsible for ensuring that the demands of WADA and the world are met with regards to anti-doping policies?
    2. Explain exactly WHAT does Jamaica get from ATHLETES in general, footballers, cricketers, sprinters etc apart from FAME and GLORY?
    3. What are Athletes doing with the MONEY they make from these sporting events and from ENDORSEMENTS by Major companies all over the world?
    4. If your job was to cut cane, would you turn up at the cane field without a cutlass and file? If you were a carpenter, would you at least have a hand saw? If you were a doctor, would you purchase a stethoscope?

    The point I am making is this: Putting Government (which has no funds to spend) aside, should the athletes not be the ones DRIVING the drug testing because coming to the games CLEAN is the requirement- just as to cut cane you need a machete, to be a doctor you need a stethoscope – to be an athlete, you need DRUG TESTING.

    Athletes need to drop some of their entourage- need to work cooperatively so that the masseuse, trainer, coach, nutritionist are SHARED ( I know some of this is done already) and we can know immediately who is the weak link….BUT none of these are as important as contributing to ENSURING that drug testing is done often and fairly.


    Athletes must stop playing prima donna and SUBMIT themselves to be tested WHEREVER, WHENEVER and stop acting up. You are not GODS, you just can run faster, jump higher, swim longer than the rest of us.

    I am pretty sure I can read faster than any of you, dear Athletes, but there is no international competition for fast reading that I am aware of.

    YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO ENSURE THAT YOU DO NOT GET EMBARRASSED. LEARN THE RULES! IF you are on medication LET THE PEOPLE KNOW well in advance- or PULL out of the competition!. STOP being Greedy! Put some money aside for a rainy day. Ask your sponsors to, without mentioning YOUR name, make a contribution to the work of the Drug Testing Committee.

    Whether the last suggestion will work, I do not know – it might lead to conflicts of interest and corruption, but the fact is ATHLETES, get your act together, GROW up and be RESPONSIBLE for your own Career! You are being petted on all sides – think back to Merlene Ottey, Juliet Cuthbert, Grace Small- these people faced all you did, with very little support – even with people fighting them down. With little personal resources, they were compliant…why not YOU?

  7. levyl says:

    As you may be aware the JADCO is compliant. Has always been. Did JADCO fail to carry out enough tests? Yes. Did the IAAF test Jamaica’s athletes? Yes. So what’s your point? No exception is being made. What I spoke about was WADA’s aggressive stance against Jamaica when they must have been aware of the more than 126 tests that the IAAF conducted in and out of competition throughout 2012. My point was WADA makes claims of being underfunded but attacks Jamaica for being same. Just in case you missed it.

  8. chippy blocks says:

    Why are we having this discussion? The fact is that Jamaica is being unfairly targeted, our athletes are the most tested in the world so there is absolutely no need for all this. It is unfortunate that some people do not appreciate what our athletes have done for our country and the pride they give particular people like me who live outside of Jamaica who have to explain to people that Jamaica is not only about crime and violence. This too shall pass we are a resilient people and we must unite for the common good of the nation. Big up JA.

  9. Ise says:


    The IAACF president seems to agree with me. He said WADA seems to be picking on Jamaica and Kenya.

    Go back in history and tell me which developed country they have ever targeted in this manner?

    I think it is accepted by all that we are not a developed country…don’t you agree. The term third world was your choice.

    Are you suggesting that our athletes are using drugs with the support of our government? And are you willing to take WADA’s word over that of our government?

    WADA also said they could prevent out athletes from competing which it seems they have no authority to do. So if they can misrepresent the truth here can they not do so about other things?

    Best regards,

  10. Jamaica is not a Third World country?
    All the economic profiles say they are.
    The International Monetary Fund harshly disagrees with that opinion!
    That alone makes moot any point you may have regarding this topic in testing.

    There has always been a work and reward structure in civilized cultures.
    The athletes earnings are theirs.
    The testing and screening processes are a part of the workplace requirement.

    The athletes do not pay to work.

    They get paid to perform and by making themselves available to the demands of the workplace, they are allowed to continue working. Paying for testing is not be the athletes’ responsibility.
    Such a suggestion is occluded by a lack of knowledge.

    The government actually owns the athletes because they are citizens of that nation.
    The benefits of the athletes’ labors are not limited to the individual endorsement deals and prize money from racing that the athletes earn.

    The managing of these benefits that become available as a result is something the business side of of the government can and should explore and fully exploit with the private sector.

    Brand management in First World population meccas should explore marketing and investment opportunities that are readily available with simple identity marks and small product sales.

    Bigger opportunities await and perhaps with a marketing team following the spearhead of the athletes’ exploits and an advertising campaign, business opportunities may open for our talented under worked and unrecognized skill sectors.

    Industrial assembly packaged with favorable tax structures could open opportunities in our Freezone trade areas and our diminishing Bauxite plant locations.

    I do not speak with any certainty but the planning and execution for business and industrial opportunities have become available with this exposure from the athletes.

    Suggesting taking money from the athletes’ earnings is counter productive.

    That is what Britain has done with that 50% tax on athletes earnings.
    That’s not going too well I think.

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11 comments so far
levyl Posted by: levyl November 20, 2013 at 10:29 am