New York Times story on Jamaican sprinters-focuses on doppin”

The New York Times did a story about Jamaican athletes. Although I think the story focus too much on drug use in track and field I think it was a fairly decent write up. one undisputed fact that the articles relates to is that Jamaican sprinters has for the most part not been tested positive for steroids use or any other performance enhancing substances.

I find this part of the story particularly telling because it shows that our athletes may be more at risk or exposed to drugs if that train overseas.

Juliet Cuthbert, a former Jamaican Olympic sprinter, said she worked with an American coach who encouraged her to use drugs. She left him, she said, and coached herself.

Other interesting facts I didn’t know was that our top sprinters are tests up to 20 times a year!!. Or that Jamaican athletes are tested in more out of competition that all but the most populous places like the United States, Russia, Kenya and and Greece. Read “Pride of Jamaica in the Spotlight”.

KINGSTON, Jamaica — For children in Jamaica’s rural villages, running is as much a part of growing up as Little League baseball or Pee Wee football in the United States. Boys and girls enter national races when they are as young as 5, and by the time they are teenagers, top sprinters are competing before a crowd of 30,000 every year at the National Stadium.

Sprinters are a source of pride in this island nation, which struggles with crime and poverty despite its reputation as a carefree paradise for tourists. Home to 2.8 million people, Jamaica has produced this year’s four fastest women at 200 meters, four of the top six at 100 meters and the fastest man in both events, Usain Bolt. Jamaicans are expected to medal in the showcase sprinting events and relays next month at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Click here to read the full article.

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~ by RB on July 20, 2008.

9 Responses to “New York Times story on Jamaican sprinters-focuses on doppin””

  1. Interesting piece by the New York Times on J’can sprinters and the fact that Jamaica is a drug free culture when it comes to athlectics.Hey Dutty Bwoy, the real drugs in Jamaica that our sprinters are taking/eating is the good old Jamaican YELLOW YAM that/which give them that extra edge.LOL.Respect star!!

  2. lol, the good old yellow yam indeed or as another poster once said honey grass weed

  3. Actually, the article raises some important issues that are worthy of discussion. It is typical for politicians, coaches and the like to make grand statements for which they have absolutely no evidence. This is one of those situation. There is no such broad resistance to doping/drugs in Jamaica. The point, raised several times in the article, still stands: Jac’n athletes are not being caught for doping because they are not being tested. If you don’t test, you won’t find out. Maybe that’s why we don’t test as much? Who knows, but if there was such a commitment to abstain from drugs as Portia and others note, it would make sense to put the appropriate measures in place to increase public confidence and make sure no doping EVER happens. Right now, its all wishing and hoping, and thinking that being Jamaican and training in Jamaica is some kind of preventative measure. I think we said that about coke in the early 1980s; oh, Jamaicans don’t do dem kin’a tings; we deal strickly wid weed. Well, we see where that went.

    The bottom line, when the athletes find a way to do it without getting caught, you can bet your last nanny that they will. If going abroad is the ‘best’ way to do it, they will do it. The same thing that drives them to want to be the best, is also what makes it so tempting to use performance-enhancing drugs. Remember: we are dealing with human beings who are susceptible to all the pressures of fame and who, after we done boots dem up, think they are above reproach and untouchable. I hope for the best, but really wouldn’t be surprised when it happens.

  4. con’td

    “At the same time, surely no one would be so naïve to think that there are no performance-enhancing drugs here. “It’s third world, so there is not that much availability here,” the sprinter Dwight Thomas said.””

    Just like any other imported product, if you want it, all you have to do is put the word out. Give it six months at most. The athletes and fans might be kidding themselves (Asafa is less than 1 degree of separation away from drugs!) but Dr. Elliott sounds like he is really on the ball. Glad somebody’s actually doing their job!

  5. Long Bench, you made some interesting points. I would like to address what you said. I am not saying that the articles did not raise important points. I simply think the focus was way too much on drugs. The caption read “Sprinters, Pride of Jamaica, Are in the Spotlight” not “Sprinters, Shame of Jamaica, Doppin’ in the Spotlight”

    The writer as in most papers, need a story and a story is not a story unless it has some negative dramatic characteristics in it. Sensationalism, making the headlines, selling papers yadda yadda. The tone is suspicious and speculative. Even with all this the writer makes it clear of the fact that Jamaican athletes are for the most part clean.

    Saying Jamaican athletes are not being caught is suggesting that they are taking drugs. Nowhere have I seen any evidence of that, that’s not to say they might not be taking it and getting away, but this very article state that once our sprinters are on the international stage they are tested very frequently. This very article state that:

    “Officials from the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field’s governing body, said they compensated for the country’s lack of testing by flying testers into Jamaica, where the I.A.A.F. conducted more out-of-competition tests than in all but four more populous nations: Russia, Kenya, United States and Greece.”

    That is saying that not only are they being tested but it’s even better than countries with their own because ours in less likely to be locally corrupted and is totally independent of any organization in Jamaica with fist world methods. If we are being tested as much as 4 of the most populous countries in the world speak volume of the intense scrutiny our athletes are under. Our top sprinters Bolt and Powell are tested up to 20 times a year. I can not vouch for anyone but I will bet my last Manley they are clean.

    There is a difference between out of competition and in competition, the most important being the latter. They simply want us to test boys and girls champs for drugs.

    One clear fact is that our athletes are more exposed to drugs in the states. It’s a fact. In the articles one of our former sprinters relates her experience. American Athletes have all the doping stuff readily available. They are often disgraced when they are found out. Even when ordinary Jamaicans go to America to live the weaker ones do fall into the life of drugs and crime which is exported back here. If you can say the environment does not affect the choices our sprinters make then that’s crazy. I am not saying they can’t get it here, but its not as readily available here. Look at Jamaican born athletes like Ben Johnson and a few others who compete for England all disgrace because of drugs. The facts never lie. They went, they saw and they doped. After years of in competition track and field our athletes are tested often by first world independent bodies and we have been clean thus far. That is just an undeniable truth.

    Mrs Simpson Miller was the Minister of Sports Youth and Culture for as long as I have known her. You said she mention it would make sense for us to put in the appropriate measures to boost public confidence. I agree with her 100 %. I question her commitment however. Facts mention in this very article in the New York Times story that Jamaica do not have an out of competition anti-doping program and choose not to join the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization. Our esteemed Former Prime Minister was at the helm of sports when this decision was made and she had more than enough time as minister to set up such a program after holding the reigns for years. As you said, politicians like to make grand statements. At the end of the story they mention the fact that it is just now that an out of competition anti-doping program is being drafted under the current government.

  6. I think all of these articles are just the typical US propoganda to cast shadows on others in case their top ranked guys get beaten. they are afraid. how can this lil country, this speck on the map be beating the number one, ruler of the free nations. they are not happy.

    is like when Ben beat Carl Ben had to be on drugs. he was but we all know carl was probably doing something too.

    wait til you hear the biased american tv coverage when the games are on. now that is fascinating.

  7. Jamaican athletes say no to drugs all the time! Just some good ol’ Jamaican food, training and talent. Even though Longbench raised a point that can cast a shadow of doubt on the Jamaican athletes. Let’s hope our athletes and really drug free and not better druggists than the US athletes. But these American’s just can’t accept that there are actually better athletes out there than theirs, so they will be skeptical.

  8. […] I had a spirited exchange with fellow blogger Long Bench about this on post I did just recently, New York Times story on Jamaican sprinters-focuses on dopin”. This is more empirical evidence. There is a list of Jamaican athletes who have competed for […]

  9. […] I had a spirited exchange with fellow blogger Long Bench about this on post I did just recently, New York Times story on Jamaican sprinters-focuses on dopin”. This is more empirical evidence. There is a list of Jamaican athletes who have competed for […]

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