Jamaican doping whistleblower Renee Ann Shirley describes cheating in elite sport as “rampant”

Former  director of  the  Jamaica  Anti-Doping  Commission  (JADCO) Renee  Anne Shirley says  there  are  links between doping in sport, organised crime and match fixing.

She made this revelation yesterday while speaking on the opening day of the Tackling Doping in Sport Conference in London.

During her talk to around 200 delegates from across the sporting spectrum, she outlined that global testing statistics and educational programmes indicated “we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to catching those who cheat”.

She also added that cheating is rampant in elite sport around  the  world and there was “such smugness” from many sporting nations – who she said think they don’t have a problem with doping.


“Every time someone says, ‘we don’t have a problem in X sport or in Y country’, I say, ‘Oh really?'”, said Shirley.

“I don’t believe it’s a majority of athletes, but I think so many of the outcomes are determined by things that are not necessarily on the track.”

Shirley  last  year  came  under  fire  when  she  exposed   failings   at  the  heart  of   the  Jamaica  drug  testing  programme, headed  by  the  claim  that out-of-competition testing in the country was insufficient ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

Shirley, speaking at the Sport Conference, claimed her whistleblowing had left her ostracised by Jamaica in its “entirety”.

She said her own family did not want her to come to London for the conference, but “someone has to speak out”.

doping in athletics Jamaica worldwide Renee ShirleyIn November, sprinter Usain Bolt claimed the criticism of Jamaica’s drug-testing programme had lost him a potential sponsor.

“Very few people will speak out after what happened to me,” said Shirley.


“If you come forward, you’re going against the IOC (International Olympic Committee], you’re going against a brand.”

She added: “Jamaica needs time.

“They’re going to start from scratch with a new Board, new testing people.

“I genuinely believe they’re going to make a real effort.”

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