KINGSTON — (Sporting Actions) — A Jamaican anti-doping official reportedly confirmed that the five Jamaican sprinters who returned positive doping tests had traces of the stimulant methylxanthine in their samples.

According to the report, all five who are members of the national team for next month’s World Championships in Berlin, tested positive for the same substance, although they are from different training groups. This is the reason as to why methods such as the 9 panel drug test are being used to detect drugs in sports.

Methylxanthine, a type of bronchodilator that is commonly used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is not listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list of substances, but falls within a category of stimulants banned by the agency, anti-doping experts revealed.

“This stimulant is found in a lot of nasal inhalers that people use,” a report from new agency Reuters was quoted as saying.

The Jamaica Observer reported: “What it does is, it clears the bronchial tubes, making it easier to breathe; and it’s one of the dangers of people with flu-like symptoms taking medicine that they have not checked out properly, because sometimes these medicines are over-the-counter and they don’t list everything in it.”

The five members, four men and one woman are scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday with the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Gleaner reported that three of the five members in involved – Commonwealth Games women’s 100 metres champion Sheri-Ann Brooks and 400 metres runners Allodin Fothergill and Lansford Spence, confirmed they had been informed of the positive tests.

IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe said that news of the positive tests was unwelcome, especially with the world championships so very close, but maintained that it is still too early to jump to conclusions.

“We have got A and B samples to reconcile and we will wait for the testing procedures to take their course,” he said. “It would be inappropriate for me to go much further than that, we know a little bit about the details.

“But yes, I’m not going to walk away from the fact that it is something that is unwelcome on the eve of the World Championships.”

The world championships run from August 15-13.

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  1. Isn’t methylxanthine a derivative of Xanthine which is naturally found in our body tissues, and can come from caffeine. Perhaps they need to stop drinking coffee or other caffeine related drinks or supplements. In either case, I think it was awful that these individuals were labeled as drug cheats when this can come from so many things – not just cold meds, etc. Most of these athletes have been competing for Jamaica for years and have never tested positive for anything. We all know that track and field has a bad reputation, but drug use is widespread. Anyway, I hope in the future everyone would stop casting judgment and speculating so as not to prematurely ruin someone’s reputation. This stimulant isn’t even on the list of banned substances, so perhaps educating these youngsters is in order; the eyes of the world is on them, so they ought to be careful as to what they ingest into their bodies.

  2. jamaicandiva: I heard it is used for when ppl can’t breathe properly. It just, bc they are from different camps as well….But you know how things go no, once something shows up everyone is on the alert for drugs. I think they will all be safe. But what will ppl start to think now

  3. I still do not believe that most of them used any nasal sprays; I would think they would know to get clearance for that; then again, this was the worst year for hay fever. To me, this is much ado about nothing; think this hoopla simply is as a result of our exploits in Beijing; the world was left awe struck as to how such a small country as Jamaica could single-handedly defeat the US. Yes, as we say in JA, wi likkle but wi talawah! The US track & field has been embarassed, and the only thing they believe is that the Jamaican athletes were using drugs. Newsflash, Jamaica has been performing credibly on the world stage for decades; we are not an overnight success; the playing field has been leveled. I also hope that Jamaica doesn’t fold as a result of what the world may think and unjustifiably remove these athletes from the team. If they were real drug cheats, they should be banned for life, but this is not so, and there are too many reasons for testing positive for this stimulant. Those of us who drink a lot of coffee and caffeine related products wouldn’t stand a chance as this breaks down in our bodies as methylxanthine. Did the Canandian lab or someone in the JAAA or JADCO leak this info; in either case, this situation was not managed well, and undue harm has been done to our country and to these athletes.

  4. Peter – they can think whatever they want. Infact, they are on the same drug. So much of our foods and drinks contain caffeine which is excreted in the urine as methylxanthine. Look at the Jamaican diet; what if they drank some hot chocolate, our Jamaican cocoa tea for breakfast. Of course their urine would show traces of methylxanthine. Next thing WADA will ban yam, banana, and dasheen. It’s time for a reevaluation. Even if they spray their darn noses;, it’s not going to give them much of advantage. To me, this is too much a gray area, and a substance found in most people’s everyday food should not be on any list.

  5. jamaicandiva: didn’t the article say that it was a “A Jamaican anti-doping official”? what does that have to with the USA?


  7. Question? Why deliberately use a banned substance and it still didn’t help?
    Blake came 6th in the finals, Brooks came 4th, and the others didn’t impress. So why take such a risk if it is not guaranteed to pay off?

    I am not claiming any conspiracy by anyone, far from it….but just wondering aloud if it could have been a stupid error on their part.

    Let’s not forget that Blake has been running fast times since he was 16 or so and so has always been one to watch as a future top sprinter. So why take a risk when you know you are bound to be caught? Jamaica is in the spotlight and so our athletes will be tested more than what is the norm.

  8. Mickey, perhaps you ought to be the one to shut the f… up. Why the shouting? Is it that you simply lack the verbal dexterity to defend your arguments without going off in a tirade? First and foremost, I am a Jamaican-American, and a black woman; I certainly do not have any chip on my shoulder as it relates to a Black American; my child and most of my relatives are Black Americans. I am not even sure how this became a part of this discussion. We all share the same struggles; perhaps the difference is that we learned a long time ago to “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery;” you ought to try it and perhaps then you will lose the chip you seem to have on your shoulder. Now, with respects to what I wrote earlier, US track and field was indeed upset that little Jamaica had dethroned them as the King/Queens of sprint. Do your research; there are numerous post Beijing articles that refer to this; also the ungraceful Carl Lewis can’t understand how Usain or the Jamaicans can run so fast and have made certain allegations. You are absolutely right that track and field doesn’t get as much attention in the US; in Jamaica, track and field rules; we begin running soon after we learn to walk. The fact is both of us are track and field fans which is a good thing. I for one look forward to Berlin with much anticipation. I will be cheering for Jamaica as well as the US; only a little louder for Jamaica, that beautiful island in the sun.

  9. It is interesting that since Jamaica won a few medals (more than usual) at the Beijing Olympics, the US has become so despicable! I congratulate the athletes from JA that did well…it takes competition to keep the US on its toes. What I am alarmed about is the level of anger and irrational discourse, all the analysis suspicion and accusation. I’ve seen it from both sides, when a US athlete improves performance relatively fast, accusations fly…and Vice Versa…What is happening now in JA happened in other places and folks just need to deal with it; IT IS THE NATURE OF THE BEAST. The athletes may have a good explanation, but keep in mind, “minor” substances are sometimes used to mask the use of “major” ones! With all the anger and outrage, I would hate to think of what will happen to the athletes if the were found guilty and have to return home to JA. Lets just enjoy the sports for what it is, congratulate other athletes when they win and celebrate your athletes when you win. Drugs or no Drugs, the work darn hard to get there!

  10. Jamaica to the worl’…..I am not going to be biased. Why is everyone going on like this is new to track and field? We know that the Russians, Germans and Americans mastered the art of drug taking. It is not the first that Jamaican athletes have tested positive for drugs. The fact of the matter is that there is still time for these athletes to explain themselves. If some did it deliberately they should be dealt with. Notice also that none of our top stars tested positive for anything. Mr. Bolt and company have always stated that they are drug free, and the numerous tests they have done prove that. I am proud of JADCO for exposing these persons. Often times alot of other countries hide their drug cheats, and I don’t need to mention any names, they know themselves. I am a proud Jamaican knowing that my authorities are not biased, they have tested and found cheats and the process now begins. A country once said, “innocent until proven guilty”. I couldn’t leave without saying that, a top swimmer at the Olympics smoked ‘ganja’ and got a slap on the wrist, up to this point no one knows if that swimmer has been using for a long time. ‘Ganja’ is also a minor substance…Let”s deal with facts and not bias….

  11. It is commendable that efforts are being made to clean up track and field. There is still a lot of work to do; for instance, athletes can use all the steroids they want during off season to complement their training, and taper off before competition. Enough so that their PERFORMANCE WILL BE ENHANCED during competition. Unless “Out of Competition” testing is done, “In Competition” testing means little. They can test all they want and will find ZIP! Some countries have off season testing in place while others dont and, there in lies the problem or, at least…part. of it. There might be more to the “minor” problem facing the 5 athletes and there might not. Stimulants are used at various times for various reasons! So…we wait for the verdict. In the meantime, lets stop demonizing each other and, more importantly, the athletes. They carry the burden of each nation on their backs and it is not so easy.

  12. Jamaican Diva, I do apologize for telling you to SHUT UP! lol Maybe I don’t have the verbal dexterity as you love, I still stand by my comments and no I don’t have a chip on my shoulder nor was I shouting at you, I was simply typing in caps!!! 😉 I must say though, the reason “it” became a part of discussion is that I always get the feeling when I read comments from the jamaican fans that there seems to be this ugly anti-american sentiment and total disrepect of the American sprinters. It’s almost like I can hear the sucking of the teeth at the mere mention of poor Tyson Gay. Yes I’ve read most of those crappy articles post Beijing, I still disagree that America is somehow upset that tiny Jamaica had dethroned the sprint capital of the world. Those were silly sound bites to get more people interested in the sport by trying to create this America vs Jamaica sprint rivalry. JDiva, believe me, to most of America, the Jamaican track success wasn’t a big deal, they could care less. But , I think there is a small group of Americans who happen to be track fans like me, are just as proud of the Jamaican success as you guys. I don’t think people like Carl Lewis, with his ‘I’m still important” and superior attitude truly represents the American track fan base. This guy has been missing from the track scene for years and wanted no part of it, now that he is a failed actor, he wants to make his voice heard again, but we ain’t listening. I have been a fan of track for many years, and I know this Jamaican sprinter thing isn’t anything new, they have always been good, expecially the male sprinters in the last 10 years! I look forward to the World Championship, I look forward to some great performances and yes, I will be rooting for the US of A!

  13. Megas15 , well said, and my sentiments exactly. Now Mickey, no hard feelings here; we are both proud of our countries, and this Jamaican Diva will defend hers to the core. I don’t believe most Jamaicans hate the US – far from it; we love most things American, but not afraid to point out her faults. I for one love Tyson Gay, and certainly want him to be 100% healthy; this so called rivalry is good for the sport. If Usain were to lose, no one deserves it more than Tyson; I really hated that he was injured at the olympics. Now, as for the so called positive tests for the Jamiacan athletes, this was handled quite poorly. we certainly don’t want drug cheats anywhere near the sport, but I firmly believe these athletes are innocent, and there was no intent to defraud the system. Someone leaked this info, and robbed them of their due process. Anyways, this too shall pass, and I will be celebrating as black, green, and gold reigns supreme in Berlin.

  14. Listen, drug use will always be a problem, people and countries will always their faults! In the words of Biggie, “mo money, mo’ problems” and no amount of pride for country is going to stop someone from doing what they need to do. The more successful these Jamaican training clubs become, the more they will compete with each other for the rewards! I’m sure as I write this comment, there is a frustrated sprinter in Jamaica who see’s the success and money of others and is making a decision to cut a corner. As someone said earlier, “It’s the nature of the Beast”! These young sprinters must now realize, with the success of Bolt and others, comes the glaring light of suspension! It has now become more difficult to do “what you need to do” !

  15. I realize I am coming in on the tail end of this discussion but I am a fan of track and field, born Jamaican and naturalized American. I have been a fan for a very long time and have watched for decades as US sprinters set inhuman heights unreachable for anyone else, as Merlene Ottey and other stalwarts just watch in amazement (speaking of Flo Jo/Marion Jones). It seems to me that the US always cries fowl when others are doing well and we need to stop being sore losers. Case and point, Ben Johnson/Carl Lewis. I’ve always admired the achievements of the US team, but it seems their take on the whole thing is no one else should do well but the US. Doping appears inherent in the business of track and field as BALCO has revealed. Florence Griffiths set an out of this world record in the 100M that has stood for decades and no one has even come close. She retired immediately after strict testing started (in the prime of her career), and later died in her sleep. I never hear any mention of this unreachable record when commentators are calling that race in any meet. But at the most inopertuned time, this doping allegation has surfaced for Jamaican sprinters, with no one considering that research proves the stimulant is found in asthma inhalers. I just think everyone should quit casting aspersions and give the process a chance to work and reveal the truth. It is not good for the competition or the sport.

  16. Sher, Welcome to the dog eat dog world of Track and Field. The witch hunting has now arrived in Jamaica. Don’t be so quick to blame the US. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the main two track clubs in Jamaica aren’t competitive with each other, it’s about MONEY, not nationalism or pride of country! Thank God, the jamaican Fed. was able to put that fire out before the Olympics got going. I’m sure the big wigs that run those clubs and the agents would do anything to keep making that bank for themselves! “It’s the nature of the Beast”! With that said, drug use in T&F has never made me any less of a fan of the sport, I still love an exciting performance and I’m begining to care less and less if those performances are drug inhanced.

  17. Me proud a mi little country, 2.8 million people against 280 million people (USA). Me really proud.

  18. Let’s put this all in perspective. When a track athletes reaches the top ten percent of the sport; .001, .010, and .100 sometimes look huge and make the difference. These differences are separated by steps or parts thereof. On any given day, an athlete with a poor start and not executing the race properly (drive phase, transitions etc) can cost them dearly in time and ultimately, the win. The point I’m trying to make is that, when an athlete improves significantly, dont be so quick to make accusations. Talent, coaching and and the athletes desire can make ALL the difference. This is not to imply there is no PED use in the sport. Whether or not Flo Jo’s world record was a result of PED is irrelevant. Why? because she was tested and there was no evidence of PED however flawed the system was. This is not to say she did or did not. If anything, the time can seen as attainable and a mark that other reach for; isn’t that the reason why records are set? In my opinion, that field (in 1988) was level, minus a few (in talent, experience, preparation ETC, ETC, ETC). Yet still she emerged the best. I am pretty sure that whatever Flo Jo did, some are still doing. As Megas 15 said; Until there is off season testing in ALL countries, the possibility of athletes doing..WHATEVER…to build strength and avoid injury, remains. Who knows, maybe one day the IAAF would be able to get around this issue with safety and reason. Apart from the name calling and this “US against THEM” thing, I enjoyed the discussion and the passion by J/Diva, Mickey and others. So many things are used in this world to divide us but, I would hate to see track and field become one of those. Mind you (IMO), there is nothing wrong with some healthy rooting for your team! If there are athletes out there trying to gain an unfair advantage, let the officials deal with them; the least we could do is be sympathetic towards them and not demonize them and make them feel worse than they already do.

  19. I can never sworn 100% for human beings when it comes to jealosy, greed. money amd power.Our athletes might be patriotic and proud but the emotional desire of greed always rear its ugly head……word to the wise no dot swear for nobody even you own they will always let you down.However, with that said, I fevervently hope that this issue will be a case of the athletes geting the benefit of the doubt. I have always emphsized that athletes are responsible for what they consumed, so in light of that, especially if you are on top, you have to be very cautious of the people you are surrounded by, the stuff that sponsors give you, the gifts etc because you never know. Rember let the buyer be aware and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

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