The world record of 42.58 seconds set by Jamaica’s under-20 girls’ 4x100m relay team at the 49th staging of the Carfita Games in Kingston on April 17 has been rejected by World Athletics because the relevant local authorities failed to drug test all four members of the team.
News of the shocking development began circulating Wednesday afternoon, forcing the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) to admit that it had only tested three of the four-team members.
For his part, the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Garth Gayle, has described the development as disappointing and has indicated that his administration has decided to appeal the World Athletics decision to not ratify the record. He was speaking with SportsMax.
“We are saddened by the situation that four young ladies would be denied the record. The matter is still at a sensitive stage and we would have done the necessary appeals. We are still hopeful that the record will be ratified at a later stage,” Gayle said.
JADCO has sought to explain why all four members of the team were not subjected to doping control.
“The event was won by the Jamaican team which was comprised of four female athletes. They completed the race with a world record of 42.58. Doping control was conducted immediately on three of the female athletes,” JADCO outlined in a statement.
“Since one of the athletes was already tested on the 16th of April 2022, a urine sample was not collected from this athlete on the 17th of April 2022. It is customary and in JADCO’s best practice in competition, that if an athlete is tested today in competition, the said athlete would not be tested the following day in the competition.”
JADCO claimed it was instructed to carry out a specific number of tests for each day of the three-day championships that were held inside the National Stadium.
It said: “The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission was contracted by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association to conduct 18 urine samples throughout the 49th staging of the Carifta Games. The Commission was advised to carry out six urine tests per day with testing being done on any athlete who achieved a national/world record.
On April 16, 2022, six athletes were tested – three Jamaican female athletes, two male Jamaican athletes, and one male athlete from the Bahamas.
On April 17, the day the world record was broken, JADCO tested nine athletes – six Jamaican female athletes, one Jamaican male athlete, one female athlete from the US Virgin Islands, and one male athlete from the Bahamas.
Six more athletes were tested on April 18, 2022 – three Jamaican male athletes, one Jamaican female athlete, one male athlete from Curacao, and one female athlete from the Bahamas.
JADCO said that in the future it will ensure that all athletes breaking records are tested.
“The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission has recognised that World Athletics has declined to accept the result of the record-breaking performance of Jamaica’s Women’s U20 4x100m relay team on April 17, 2022, since one of the athletes previously tested by JADCO on April 16, 2022, was not tested on the day the record was broken. Whilst our testing conforms to the World Anti-Doping Agency protocols, going forward JADCO will ensure the testing of record-breaking athletes despite the frequency of testing” the Commission added.
The quartet of Serena Cole, Brianna Lyston, and twin sisters Tia and Tina Clayton set the record of 42.58s which has been denied ratification. Of note is that despite the setback, Jamaica still holds the record in the event with the 42.94 seconds that was set at the World U20 Championships in Kenya in August 2021. On that occasion, the quartet included Serena Cole, Tina and Tia Clayton, and Kerrica Hill.