Jamaican coach criticizes WADA’s methods

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC- Noted Jamaican track and field coach David Riley says the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) should make it easier for athletes to identify products with banned substances.

Riley’s suggestion follows reports that Olympic and World champion Veronica Campbell-Brown tested positive for the prohibited substance Lasix.

He says professional athletes face a disadvantage to protect themselves against unintentional doping.

“I believe that the responsibility is being placed solely on the athlete to know what is in everything that they are consuming and the athlete doesn’t have the skill set nor the knowledge base to accomplish that,” Riley told The Gleaner.

“Whatever process there is must be scaled down to the little prep school or primary school athletes, as well as go all the way up to the professional athlete”.

WADA publishes an annual list of banned substances under the categories: non-approved substances; anabolic agents; other anabolic agents; peptide hormones, growth factors and related substances; Beta – 2 Agonists; hormone and metabolic modulators; diuretics and other masking agents.

“The list as it is right now is not even a list of items, it’s a list that speaks about categories of substances and those categories are not understood by anybody unless you are involved in pharmacology or medicine,” Complained Riley.

“You don’t know what a diuretic is and whether or not something that is listed on an ingredient package falls in that category for instance”.

The Jamaican sprint star tested positive for the diuretic furosemide at the May 4 Jamaica Invitational at the National Stadium.

The substance is banned by WADA as it acts as a masking agent for performance enhancement drugs.

“I think they ought to shift the responsibility to the manufacturer of the products to get it certified or approved for consumption by athletes,” Riley said.

“Having products being declared safe for athletes is I think, an important step because an athlete walking into a store and seeing the label would then be assured that they can consume that and this would help the person who is trying to adhere to the rules.”

Campbell has been suspended and will miss the 14th IAAF World Championship in Moscow in August.

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