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Positive doping tests could be 'tip of the iceberg' warns senior drug tester in Jamaica

Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson are among the high profile athletes to test positive recently

A senior Jamaican drug tester believes the country’s recent spate of positive tests could be just the “tip of the iceberg.” Five Jamaican sprinters failed tests – including Asafa Powell, the former 100m world record holder – in June amid accusations that the testing regime within the country is inadequate.

The World Anti-Doping Agency recently carried out an extraordinary audit of the Jamaican testing system, run by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission, and their findings will be discussed at its annual congress which begins in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Jadco has been heavily criticised for its failure to carry out a significant number of out-of-competition tests, conducting one in the six months before London 2012.

“The results are not good,” said Dr Paul Wright, Jadco’s senior doping control officer, in an interview with the BBC. “This year alone the results really point the finger. And remember, all of these results except one were caught by Jadco. The problem is these people were tested positive in competition.

“Testing positive in competition - what that means is months before you know the date of the test. This could be the tip of the iceberg to have so many positives coming in competition. What is going to convince me is if there is an out-of-competition test that’s unannounced. Then we can say that we know that there’s nothing.”

Jamaica’s sports minister has promised to increase spending on doping and the number of testers.