5 Jamaican track athletes fail drug tests
Five athletes on Jamaica's national track team have tested positive for banned substances, a Jamaican official said Friday.
The four men and one woman have been informed of the results and will have an opportunity to contest them at a hearing, Herb Elliott of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission said in an interview broadcast on Radio Jamaica. He did not name the athletes or the drugs involved.
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding called a meeting with top athletics officials to discuss the situation, government spokesman Ken Jones said.
Success in track and field is a source of national pride in the Caribbean nation whose sprinters dominated the Beijing Olympics.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt said he was disappointed.
Bolt speaks out
"As long as I'm clean I'm just going forward," Bolt said after winning the 100 metres at the London Grand Prix. "It's sad for the sport because the sport was getting on so well, I was trying to bring it back. This is probably a step backwards because people start questioning everybody, especially from Jamaica.
"For me it doesn't matter because I will be going out there, day after day, doing my best. I get tested all the time. It shows that people get tested and they get caught if they are on drugs."
The positive test results were first reported Friday by the Jamaican Observer, which said none of the country's premier sprinters are among the five athletes. It said the five include two members of the men's 4x100 relay team, two in the men's 4x400 relay and a female 4x100 relay runner.
The samples were taken during last month's national championships in Kingston and sent to a laboratory in Montreal for testing, according to a statement from the doping commission. The athletes who tested positive were all chosen for the 46-member team representing Jamaica at next month's world championships in Berlin.
Athletes and substance not identified
"I'm heartbroken because you never want anybody from your country or your team to ever be tested positive," Aleen Bailey said after the women's 200 at the London GP. "It hurts when it's someone from your country, so it's kind of hard for me right now."
In London, International Association of Athletics Federations spokesman Nick Davies said the organization had received paperwork about the positive test from the Jamaica Anti-Doping body. He did not identify the athletes or the substance.
"We are very, very early in the process which is why we can't say who they are, nor what the substance is," he said.
Jamaican sprinter Julien Dunkley was dropped from the team a year ago after testing positive for the banned drug Boldenone during Olympic trials. Dunkley, who said he was innocent, also was banned for two years by the IAAF.