PARIS (AP):With his federation embattled by widespread doping allegations that could lead to a reshuffle of Olympic and World Championship podiums for more than a decade, International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack defended his organisation’s anti-doping record and dismissed the accusations as a “joke” yesterday.Diack, who will be stepping down later this month after 15 years at the helm of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), also questioned the timing of the reports, which came out three weeks before the track and field World Championships in Beijing, which run from August 22-30.”They are playing with the idea of a redistribution of medals,” Diack said at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Kuala Lumpur. “It’s possible, if we prove with the new techniques at our disposal that someone doped. Otherwise, it’s a joke. Just three weeks before the World Championships, there is something behind.”Thousands of filesDiack spoke after German broadcasting outlet ARD and the Sunday Times newspaper in Britain said they obtained access to the results of 12,000 blood tests involving 5,000 athletes. The leaked files came from the database of the IAAF.The report found that 146 medals – including 55 golds – in disciplines ranging from the 800 metres to the marathon at the Olympics and World Championships were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests.The Sunday Times said that 10 medals at the 2012 London Olympics were won by athletes with suspicious results, and that in some finals, every athlete in the medal positions had recorded a dubious blood test.”There is a film and a newspaper who are asking questions,” said Diack. “We are going to answer them all, but it’s not (just) because someone has a suspicious profile once that he was doped. When people say that there are medals to be redistributed from 2001 to 2012, it’s just a farce.”The IOC has previously stripped medals from athletes who have been retroactively found guilty of doping offenses dating back to the time of the Games. The IOC also stores Olympic doping samples for 10 years for possible retesting.IOC president Thomas Bach said it is up to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to investigate the allegations, including that one-third of medals in endurance races at the Olympics and World Championships from 2001 to 2012 were won by athletes who recorded suspicious blood tests.”If there should be cases involving results at Olympic Games, the IOC will react with zero tolerance with our usual policy,” Bach said. “But at this time, we have nothing more than allegations. We have to respect the presumption of innocence of the athletes.”Diack, who also suggested that the allegations were timed to overshadow the IAAF presidential election on August 19 that will pit Sebastian Coe against Sergei Bubka, did not specify which countries could be interested in a redistribution of medals.His comments appeared to leave former WADA President Dick Pound perplexed.”I’m not sure what he meant. Whether he’s worried about it’s too long, too late to do some of those, or who knows,” said Pound, who is heading a WADA commission investigating earlier allegations of widespread doping and cover-ups in Russia, particularly in track and field.Anti-doping scientist Robin Parisotto, who reviewed the data obtained by the media outlets from the period covering 2001 to 2012 with blood doping expert Michael Ashenden, has been critical of the IAAF, saying many athletes appeared to have doped with impunity.Diack denied any wrongdoing by his federation, claiming that the IAAF “has done everything for doping control” over that specific period.”No one has been destabilised; we are stronger than that,” he said. “Everything that has been done in the fight against doping has been made by IAAF.”The reports also alleged that more than 80 of Russia’s medals were won by athletes with suspicious tests, while Kenya had 18 medals won by suspicious athletes. ARD said it has evidence of human growth hormones being used by Russian runners.The Russian athletics federation said it was “disturbed by the seriousness of the allegations”.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the Government is committed to a knowledge-based digital society whereby Jamaicans, particularly youth, have greater access to technology.To this end, he said, barriers of access have been removed from approximately 250 government and educational websites.“I must thank our telecoms partners for ensuring that (the more than) 250 government websites are now zero-rated,” he said.Dr. Wheatley was speaking at the launch of 29 new Xerox products at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston today (August 22).He said by ensuring that those barriers are removed, a child at home can now access essential websites and educational material online through their personal devices or the ones provided through the Government’s Tablets in Schools initiative.Meanwhile, he said the Government remains resolute in its 10-point information and communications technology (ICT) plan to improve efficiency in Government, not only within the different ministries, departments and agencies but also the citizen-Government relationship.“We will be doing this by ensuring greater openness in Government by making more information available online, and by ensuring that Government will have more records and business processes digitised for greater administrative efficiency,” the Minister noted.“We also intend to achieve this by enhancing citizen to Government interaction and by enhancing business to Government interaction, because we believe that the private sector must assist in driving economic growth and development,” he added.Dr. Wheatley said technologies such as Xerox ConnectKey, and companies such as Productive Business Solutions (PBS) are “critical private-sector partners in the realisation of these goals”.“It is this technology that will transform the experience of our employees, giving them the freedom to solve problems, to be more productive and to take on new challenges. Today’s launch and our exposure to ConnectKey will, more or less, enable us to become masters of the workplace and, by extension, masters of the world,” he said.He said ConnectKey will revolutionise the way in which business processes are executed and will make business more efficient and smarter.General Manager, PBS, Michael Lewis, noted that the new devices will change the way in which people work.“Historically, they were single-function stand-alone devices that could either print or copy; then we had all-in-one multifunction devices that could print and copy and even scan and fax documents,” he said.For more than 40 years, PBS Jamaica, formerly Xerox Jamaica Limited, has been the local Xerox Authorised Partner and has offered world-class technology in document management and print solutions to a wide spectrum of companies across several industries.In 2002, the Facey Group of Companies acquired Xerox Jamaica, making it a member of the PBS Group. PBS operates in 13 countries across Central America and the Caribbean.The launch of the 29 new printing solutions is the biggest of new products in Xerox’s history and will revolutionise workplace productivity with next-generation features, instant cloud and mobile connectivity. It is the biggest advancement in its 110-year history. Story Highlights Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the Government is committed to a knowledge-based digital society whereby Jamaicans, particularly youth, have greater access to technology. Meanwhile, he said the Government remains resolute in its 10-point information and communications technology (ICT) plan to improve efficiency in Government, not only within the different ministries, departments and agencies but also the citizen-Government relationship. “We will be doing this by ensuring greater openness in Government by making more information available online, and by ensuring that Government will have more records and business processes digitised for greater administrative efficiency,” the Minister noted.
More Jamaicans with hearing difficulties are to benefit from free hearing aids and aftercare under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Juliet A. Holness Foundation and the United States-based Starkey Hearing Foundation. More Jamaicans with hearing difficulties are to benefit from free hearing aids and aftercare under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Juliet A. Holness Foundation and the United States-based Starkey Hearing Foundation.The MOU follows a special mission to the island by members of the foundation in June, where more than 400 persons received custom hearing aids.More than 800 people were fitted with hearing aids by the Starkey team in 2017, who continue to receive monthly aftercare free of cost.The agreement, which was signed on Tuesday (September 4) at Jamaica House, will also seek to establish a framework of cooperation and collaboration with stakeholders to expand Starkey Foundation’s hearing health programme in the Caribbean.Speaking with JIS News, Mrs. Holness said the initiative is important in creating a more inclusive society.“This is an initiative that we will be able to carry across Jamaica to ensure that every single child and adult who is unable to hear can do so,” she said.Mrs. Holness commended Starkey for its commitment to improving the lives of persons with hearing disabilities.“It not only provides hearing aids; it has been able to maintain a programme of continuous checks and ensuring that the hearing is supported long-term. They provide maintenance and follow-up throughout life, and that is very special for those who cannot afford it,” she noted.Director of Global Development for the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Owen Olende, said the agreement is an important step in building multiple partnerships as it seeks to widen its operations in the Caribbean region.He hailed the cooperation with the Juliet A. Holness Foundation to “enable us to get the right stakeholders on board” in order to extend the reach of the initiative.To ensure the sustainability of the programme, Mr. Olende said that training will be done at the community level to build capacity.“Part of the sustainability plan is engaging in research with local universities to come up with more Jamaica-relevant programmes and be able to scale up the programme throughout the four regions in Jamaica. We will work closely with the Ministry of Health through the Juliet A. Holness Foundation to make sure we achieve that within the next year or so,” he said.“With your support, we will be able to scale up the programme not only in Jamaica, but in the wider Caribbean region. Through the signing of this MOU, you will officially be our ambassador for the region,” he added.The partnership is the first activity under the recently launched Juliet A. Holness Foundation, which seeks to advance Mrs. Holness’ passion for health, education and family values.Starkey Hearing Foundation is a global organisation that provides custom hearing aids to people in need.It has community-based programmes in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central America, the Middle East, South-East Asia and the Caribbean, with the aim of providing services at no cost to the beneficiaries and to promote healthy hearing medical care worldwide. The MOU follows a special mission to the island by members of the foundation in June, where more than 400 persons received custom hearing aids. More than 800 people were fitted with hearing aids by the Starkey team in 2017, who continue to receive monthly aftercare free of cost. Story Highlights
New Delhi: The BCCI’s much-awaited elections have been rescheduled by a day to October 23 in the wake of assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, Chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket Vinod Rai told PTI on Tuesday. Both the states will be voting on October 21 in a single-phase elections and to ensure that voter members from the two units are not inconvenienced, the Cricket Board poll, which was to be held on October 22, has been postponed by a day. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”The BCCI elections are on track. It’s just because of the state polls, we have decided to reschedule by a day. So it will now be held on October 23 instead of October 22. Anything else that you read anywhere will be factually incorrect,” Rai said on Tuesday. The CoA also extended the deadline for conducting elections of BCCI’s state units by a week, to October 4. Another CoA member Diana Edulji said while she is “against any delay in conducting the BCCI elections”, she understands that a day’s extension is due to state polls. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters”As per the Supreme Court order passed on September 20, the state units may be granted a few days’ grace but BCCI elections should be on time. We may defer it by a day due to assembly elections in Maharashtra on 21st,” the former India women’s captain said. Rai was happy with the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing on the Tuesday during which its petition seeking clarification on the permission granted to the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association to hold elections, was admitted. “Today, the petition came up for hearing. The BCCI counsel was there, TNCA counsel and amicus curiae P S Narsimha was there. I am happy with the outcome,” he said. “The SC took cognisance of the fact that some state units are misinterpreting the order mischievously on ‘disqualification being confined to office-bearers only’,” said Rai. “Many felt that it meant that the 70-year clause (age cap), non-Indian passport holder clause have been done away with, which is not the case,” the former CAG added. The CoA, in its petition to the apex court, has also submitted the status of compliance of 38 state units of BCCI. There are 24 full members, who have registered their respective constitutions as per CoA’s approval. Three members — Railways, Services and Universities — will have an authorised representative as per the BCCI constitution. The CoA has also informed the court that seven full members have had their constitution approved by it but have not yet submitted the document. There are two members, who are in dialogue with CoA and are on their way to compliance. According to the CoA, only two members — Haryana and Tamil Nadu are “not compliant and failed to bring their constitution in line with the approved one.” The BCCI elections will mark an end to the tenure of the Supreme Court-appointed administrators, governing Indian cricket. The CoA has been administering the game since January 2017 and was mandated to implement the administrative reforms suggested by the Justice (Retd) R M Lodha committee.