• Athletics

Fraser-Pryce threatens Jamaican boycott

ESPN staff
November 15, 2013
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won three World Championship titles in Moscow this year © Getty Images

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is threatening to boycott major events unless Jamaica's doping authorities stand by their athletes, and insists she has "nothing to hide".

A senior drug tester from the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission this week said the island's recent positive tests could be just "the tip of the iceberg".

But Olympic 100m champion Fraser-Pryce, who secured three World Championship titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in Moscow this year, said she is "hurt" by the comment.

"It is so important that our federation stands by our athletes. If it's down to making sure things are up to scratch, I would [refuse to run]," Fraser-Pryce said.

"If you are Jamaican and make a statement like that then those things are hurtful.

"I don't think it has cast any shadow over my achievements. It can get discouraging at times. Of course it is something I hope will get better. As athletes our job is to train and compete. There is nothing for me to hide."

Fraser-Pryce was banned for six months in 2010 after testing positive for oxycodone, which she claimed was in her system because of medication she was taking for toothache. The 26-year-old, on the shortlist for the IAAF world athlete of the year award, has also revealed she is attempting to set up a union to give Jamaican athletes guidance and provide them with a voice.

"If there are certain things that are not up to standard then it [not running] is something you have to do. We believe we deserve to have good things, not to have our name tarnished at a time when we are doing so well," she added.

"It is so important that our federation stands by our athletes, not says the kind of things they say about our athletes. We need a voice to be able to stand up and say 'you can't say these things without having proof'. We have come so far in athletics in our country but we are still stagnant in other areas."

Earlier this year, sprint stars Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson were among five Jamaican athletes to fail tests at their national trials, while Veronica Campbell-Brown recently escaped with just a public warning for the same offence.

WADA had vowed to carry out an "extraordinary" audit of Jamaica's anti-doping programme in the light of claims made by a former JADCO chief that the organisation carried out just a single out-of-competition test in the six months leading up to the London 2012 Olympics.

Jamaica have also been threatened with expulsion from Rio 2016 if they do not bring their drug-testing policy up to international standards, but Fraser-Pryce insists the country does not have a doping problem.

"We don't have a doping issue - we are tested wherever we go," she said.

"There is no one in Jamaica saying 'let's dope up to run fast'. That is just not true. Where we have issues is with our young athletes who are getting involved in doping issues because nobody is there to give guidance.

"We are doing very well for our country internationally but when we are in Jamaica our athletes are not being looked after. We are selling our country and marketing our country to the word and not being paid for it.

"Why aren't we getting the support we deserve? A lot of our young athletes are struggling back in Jamaica. They are not able to get the medical attention they need, they are not able to eat properly.

"We are treated sometimes unfairly. It is almost as if they (the federation) don't believe we are world class athletes. We are international athletes and we should be treated that way. We should be able to say that if things don't go our way we will not be running."

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