VCB’s drug woes threaten Jamaica’s sprint powerhouse reputation-top administrator

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC- President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Mike Fennell says the country’s reputation as the powerhouse of world sprinting would suffer a serious blow if Veronica Campbell-Brown is found guilty of using a banned drug.

The seven-time Olympic medallist, who also has nine medals at the World Championships, has tested positive for the prohibited substance Lasix, which also goes by the name Furosemide.

Fennell is also concerned that suspicion could be cast over the exploits of other outstanding Jamaican athletes the likes of Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

“It is very damaging to the sport because internationally the sport has had a lot of bad news and, certainly in the past few months, the bad news has been with other sports, particularly cycling,” Fennell said.

“In the case of VCB, she is a person that is considered to be a model, therefore it’s not just any other athlete; she is a star, highly decorated and, therefore, the impact is greater than anything else.”

She has been suspended in accordance with IAAF rules after being notified by the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association.

Brown, 31, Jamaica’s most successful female athlete with a total of 18 World and Olympic medals, is expected to miss the 14th IAAF World Championship in Moscow in August.

“I would appeal to everybody, including the media, let us marshal all the track figures before we start drawing our conclusions,” said Fennell.

“It is a very explosive situation and can be very damaging to the athlete, to Jamaica, her family and to the sport of athletics,” he added.

The list of drugs banned from the Olympics is determined by the World Anti-Doping Agency, established in 1999, to deal with the increasing problem of doping in sports.

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