KINGSTON, Jamaica – President of the Jamaica Olympic Association Mike Fennel, is cautioning Jamaican athletes who might be contemplating the use of performance enhancers against this, as these substances are harmful to themselves as well as the legacy and national psyche of the country.
Mr. Fennel made the statement during a panel discussion at the closing of the two-day 2009 Anti-Doping Symposium, hosted by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) on January 15, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
“It is important that all our sports people understand, not just athletes, that when they cheat they are putting at risk not just themselves…the impact is on the whole country and our sports. The heritage, reputation and image that we have built up over a long period of time with sweat, tears and a lot of hard work and sacrifices [can] be damaged and thrown away completely,” he emphasised.
“Over the years we have had distinguished athletes mainly in track and field, but in other sports as well and these people have set a standard for performance on the international scene without any blemish whatsoever,” he continued, while asserting “that is what we have to protect as well as to protect the future of our athletes who are coming up and competing in a harsh world”.
Mr. Fennel also bemoaned the fact that many of the country’s previous athletes were robbed of success because they were not competing on a level playing field.
“Certainly a lot of our athletes who are now retired felt that they never had a ghost of a chance given the fact that others were allowed to do things and get away with it,” he remarked.
Attendees of the symposium who included senior and junior athletes, coaches and administrative representatives from a wide cross-section of the sporting fraternity, took part in a number of workshops on issues related to the subject of doping in sports.