tremendous increase Drug-testing experts have noticed a tremendous increase in the size, strength, and speed of players in international rugby since the sport went professional in 1995. Surveys done in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa have indicated that among the young, steroid use is much greater than 10 per cent. However, in these countries, there’s a paucity of drug testing in schools and clubs, where the temptation to dope is high, due to the reluctance of doping authorities to test in schools, and the relatively little financial resources to extend testing to clubs, not involved in international competition. In Jamaica, the new and impressive JADCO website gives no indication of testing by sport, so we do not know if rugby is one of the many sports under the scrutiny of the local testing agency. What we do know is that when it comes to doping, there is a very obvious ‘Catch 22’: Take it seriously and catch people (because there are cheats in every area of human activity), or pretend to take it seriously and catch nobody. Do the former and you have a drug problem. do the latter and no problem – until a superstar makes a mistake and the edifice of propriety collapses. British online media have been reporting on the out-of-competition activities of a Jamaican superstar, with a letter writer to a Jamaican newspaper wondering about the possibility of the superstar imbibing ‘spiked’ drinks at one of the establishments where he has been filmed. This concern ties in with the allegation in Jamaica that sporting superstars have been known to order take-out food in their own name and personally come to pick it up minutes later. The national disaster that would accompany a subsequent test that revealed an adverse analytical finding in a test done after a meal spiked by (paid) accomplices of jealous competitors would demand that JADCO-sponsored seminars re the dangers of using banned substances and supplements be mandatory for elite athletes, with serious sanctions for those who consistently ‘have other engagements’ when these seminars are put on. No one wants to curtail the fun of any young sports superstar, but the fact that young, rich stars attract friends with ulterior motives cannot and must not be overstressed and ignored. A word to the wise is sufficient. The World Championships in rugby enters its knockout stage this week, with the main stories focusing on the capitulation of the England team to Australia in a dramatic win-or-go-home match, thus becoming the first host to be eliminated from the competition before the quarter-finals; and the claims by a 20-year-old British player, Daniel Spencer-Tonks, that doping “is widespread” in the sport. Spencer-Tonks is a former under-15 international player, who was caught using the banned steroid stanozolol in February this year and who received a four-year ban from the United Kingdom Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD). As can be expected, the anti-doping testers in rugby in Britain have trotted out their statistics to reveal that of all the tests done, in and out of competition, only about 10 per cent reveal adverse analytical findings. They also state that more than 50 per cent of their tests are based on information received (target testing). This contrast (‘widespread doping’ versus ‘less than 10 per cent of tests positive’) highlights the belief that a significant percentage of sportsmen (and women) throughout all sports are using dope to cope with the demands of professional sports.
Police are reportedly on the hunt for the prime suspect in the murder of Shawn Nurse, also called “Fabulous,” who was gunned down on Sunday in the vicinity of Avenue of the Republic and America Street.Late money changer Shawn Nurse, also called ‘Fabulous’A Police source has told Guyana Times that, based on information received from persons who had witnessed the murder, the shooter is reportedly a character that is well known to the Police. He allegedly resides in Georgetown, and reportedly has had several brushes with the law, including robbery-under-arms.Detectives have reportedly visited this suspect’s home and other locations that he frequents, but he remains on the run.Police have however arrested two men who are suspected to be known associates of the prime suspect. They remain in custody and are assisting with investigations.Well-known money changer Shawn Nurse, also called “Fabulous”, late 47-year-old resident of Lot 33 Shopping Plaza, South Ruimveldt Georgetown, had been sitting in a chair at the corner of Avenue of the Republic and America Street when he was approached by a man armed with a handgun.Without hesitation, the man demanded that Nurse hand over a bag he had been carrying, which contained an undisclosed sum of local and foreign currencies.Nurse resisted the man, and in retaliation he pulled the trigger, shooting Nurse once to his head. Nurse collapsed and died almost immediately.Police have retrieved a 9MM spent shell at the scene, and have questioned several persons, who have given a description of the shooter. At the time of the shooting incident, the suspect was reportedly clad in a red hoody and a pair of brown trousers.Nurse had reportedly been robbed two months ago, when gunmen had swooped down on him as he was entering his yard. The money and other valuables they had taken were reportedly returned, and the matter was quashed.Nurse’s grieving mother — inconsolable at the scene on Sunday – could not say whether his gunning down was related to the robbery stated above. In anguish she told reporters that she was at home when she received the news that something had happened to her son. Upon arriving at the scene, she recalled seeing her son’s body lying in a pool of blood.This mother had last seen her son alive on Saturday evening, when he had gone to her home for dinner. She could not state whether he had had any issue with anyone, but was adamant that her son had been committed to his work, although, because of the danger associated with his type of profession, his daughters would often tell him to engage himself in another profession. Nurse leaves to mourn his mother, wife, three children and two siblings.The Police are confident that the perpetrator would be brought to justice.