JAMAICA SPORTS NEWS: February 14th – 20th, 2015

APPEALS PANEL UPHOLDS BAN ON SMIKLE—02/14/15
An appeals panel in Jamaica has decided to uphold a two-year ban against Traves Smikle, Olympic discus thrower, for doping. Smikle had tested positive for a banned substance in 2013.  He is the Jamaican national record holder in the discus and has stated that he did not know he had taken a banned substance. He filed an appeal with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), but the panel upheld the ban despite his appeal.

BOLT PLANS TO RETIRE IN 2017—02/15/15
Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s champion sprinter and six-time Olympic medalist, has confirmed his plans to retire in 2017. Bolt, 28, has said that the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be his final appearance in track and field competition. However, he has altered his plans slightly, planning now to make his last appearance in London, the city where he last won gold.

HEAD OF ANTI-DOPING AGENCY TO VISIT JAMAICA—02/16/15
Craig Reedie, the president of the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), is scheduled to make a visit to Jamaica to view the nation’s efforts toward improving its drug-testing program. He will spend five days in Jamaica on a visit made in response to an invitation from the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA)’s president, Michael Fennell. Reedie is the first sitting president of WADA to visit the island.

TECHNICAL ADVISER NAMED FOR WOMEN’S FOOTBALL—02/19/15
Jamaica’s women’s football team is preparing for an overhaul now that Hue Menzies has been named technical adviser for the national program. Menzies, who was born in England and is based in the United States, was raised in Jamaica and is now the executive director of the Florida Kraze Krush football club. Menzies helped with preparing the Reggae Girlz team during the CONCACAF qualifiers in 2014. Menzies was recommended for the position by Cedella Marley, ambassador for Jamaican women’s football.