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BAAA ‘disheartened’ by Al Jazeera program

The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) said yesterday that it watched an Al Jazeera documentary on doping in sports with “grave dismay” and was “disheartened” at the allegations made against The Bahamas.

“The BAAA absolutely has a no tolerance approach and does not support the use of doping,” the association said in a statement.

“Throughout the history of track and field, our federation has promoted a clean sport and remains compliant with all of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), as well as the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission, doping protocols.

“We jealously guard the legacy and the reputation of our great sport.

“We will do everything within our power to foster a sport that remains clean, above reproach and free of actions that contravene policies and the codes of ethics of our strategic national and international partners.”

The documentary, titled “The Dark Side”, featured British hurdler Liam Collins traveling to various countries.

While in The Bahamas, Collins, equipped with a hidden microphone and camera, allegedly met with two Bahamian doctors and asked for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

One of the doctors told Collins that three of the Golden Girls were patients of his.

Al Jazeera said that one of the doctors later told them that he lied to Collins and the other denied supplying banned drugs to athletes.

Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, a member of the Golden Girls, said that she has “never taken drugs, is drug free and will retire being drug free”.

The Golden Girls struck gold in the 1999 World Championships in Seville, Spain, and again one year later, at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

On Monday, Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) Chairman Dr. Jerome Lightbourne reserved comment until BADC meets as a body and determines its next course of action.

He said that the issue has legal as well as professional implications, and he would not want to comment on the matter at this particular time.


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