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Could/would Jamaica be banned from the Olympics?
by on Tuesday, October 22, 2013  (6 comments)

For those who haven't been following, Jamaica has had some doping troubles recently.

Could the nation as a whole, including Usain Bolt, pay the price?

The obvious answer is yes, obviously, this is a possibility. It is within the power of international agencies to ban the nation that is performing its doping control responsibilities so poorly.

Would it realistically happen? The likely answer is don't count on it. Would the IAAF, IOC or any other governing agency really want to take away the most famous name currently in the sport and one of the most famous names currently in the Olympics? Would they want to take away one of the premier rivalries (Jamaica vs. USA in the sprints)? Even if there is some short term punishment for the nation as a whole, don't expect it to last. Everyone in power wants them to keep competing.

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6 comments
Ed:

Once again fame and fortune over the purity of the sport. Sad.

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Ryan:

Well, not yet. It's my assumption that fame and fortune over the purity of the sport is where this is going to go but it hasn't...yet. WADA is currently saying the right things. I suspect the follow through will be limited at best, though.

Of course, I'd love to be proven wrong. Not that I don't want Bolt to be forced out of the 2016 Olympics due to the actions of others but I'd love the threat of such action leveraged to create real reform in Jamaica and to put other countries on notice that no country is safe from this kind of scrutiny. I just don't expect that to actually happen. I expect this to go the way of the Kenya bombshell from earlier this year. A few months from now, I suspect it will all be swept under the rug and nobody will be talking about it.

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Andrew A.:

My response is the same every time I see someone suggesting that an entire nation (Turkey, Greece, etc.) be banned based on recent density of doping revelations: the US should be first in line for such a punishment. Given what we know about the large numbers of dopers on the U.S. team in '84 that were kept a secret by TAC/USOC, there's little reason to believe that USATF/USOC has changed its behavior much in any of the years since then. Are we really to believe that someone like Marion Jones was absolutely clean before going on the cream and the clear via BALCO and that USADA never came up with anything in all of those out-of-comp tests they ran on her in all that time?

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Ryan:

First, a positive development: Wada due in Jamaica next week for doping audit

Andrew, I would agree 100%. Jamaica has some serious issues. No tests in the 5 months leading up to the Olympics looks horrible. However, the idea that a nation with the resources our nation has could be innocent as Marion Jones goes uncaught for years seems implausible to say the least. That's not to pick on Jones. There are quite a few others whose names could be used in the place of hers.

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Andrew A.:

Right, that's why I said "someone like" her. I would say that unlike the U.S., a nation/federation like Jamaica simply does not have the resources (even boasting stars such as Bolt) to keep something like this hidden indefinitely. The public pressure brought to bear will get Jamaica to cow to IAAF demands sooner or later.

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Ryan:

It appears, potentially, sooner rather than later. It's good that they are going to comply. As for the US, it's too bad the resources you mention are being used to hide the problem rather than clean it up. Shouldn't be surprising to anyone but too bad.

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