What had initially surfaced and was treated as a “joke”, then later confirmed as “suspicion”, is now engaging official attention as a “wicked” attempt to tarnish the reputation of Caribbean athletes and specifically “a vicious attack” on Jamaica.
Yesterday I received an email message that originated out of London stating that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had acknowledged investigating “suspicious items” found in the rooms of “many athletes” who had participated in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
It would seem that while the nations of the world are saluting Usain Bolt’s spectacular achievements as the fastest runner on planet earth—buttressed by the outstanding performances of his national teammates in together bagging a dozen gold, bronze and silver medals—there are officials of the IOC yet to come to terms with the Caribbean’s magnificent record of 32 medals at the London Olympics (including 12 also by Cuba).
Consequently, while Caricom governments and people are enthusiastically celebrating the marvellous feats of “Team Caribbean”—including a gold each by Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and The Bahamas—the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) is locked in a duel of words with the IOC and specifically its anti-doping representative, Dick Pound.
JADCO’s chairman, Prof Winston Davidson, emerged from a board meeting on Monday to deem as “blatantly false” the claim by IOC’s Pound that the international body had “difficulties testing Jamaican athletes” for the London Olympics.
But even as the conflict was widening between Jamaica and the IOC, US President Barack Obama was further elevating the stature of Jamaica’s international super hero Bolt in his election campaign for a second term in the White House.
Obama was reported as telling supporters at a fund-raising event on Monday that he was “no Usain Bolt” and, therefore, his campaign would be “a fight all the way to the finish line, not an easy victory…”
Meanwhile, an evidently angry JADCO chairman in Kingston remains focused on exposing the mischievous attempt by the IOC’s spokesman, Pound, to support with evidence, allegations of having had a “tough time” in testing Jamaican athletes.
Pound had told Reuters Television last Saturday that Jamaican athletes “belong to one of the groups that are hard to test… It is hard to get in and find them, and so forth…”
But JADCO’s Davidson was ready to dismiss what Pound said as being “blatantly false”. He emphasised that all investigations had failed to turn up any evidence about the claimed “difficulties” encountered by the IOC to test the athletes.
“We don’t think they would do this to America and other bigger countries. It is a vicious attack on a small country.”
Well, what was first treated as a joke when the IOC’s Pound came forward with the unsubstantiated insinuation of likely doping on the part of Jamaican athletes— perhaps thinking their natural performances were just too good to be true—was to prove most laughable with the production of alleged “photo evidence” circulated with email messages yesterday:
Mr Pound had claimed that they were “investigating suspicious items found in the rooms of many Caribbean athletes…we have opened an inquiry and have asked various Olympic Committees (not mentioned by name) of those island nations for an explanation…
“Samples of the items found have been seized and will be retained for testing. Photo evidence of the items found has been passed to the chairmen of those Olympic Committees for their review and to evaluate any further steps to be taken,” according to the IOC’s statement.
Well, readers may be interested and amused to learn that what the “photo evidence” shows is a pile of carefully placed vegetables (what some call “ground provisions”) including cassava, eddoes, yams and plantains.
What a joke! What a messy, mischievous attempt to cast doubts on the integrity of the Caribbean athletes (copies of the so-called “photo evidence” have been sent to all Olympic committees of the Caribbean).
Perhaps, therefore, Trinidad and Tobago’s 19-year-old javelin “gold hero” Keshorn Walcott, may be asked by the local Olympic committee which, if any, of the vegetables he consumed before winning the gold medal which has made him a national hero with many millions at his disposal!
Yuh think it easy!
Reproduced from the Trinidad Express.