By Nick Butler

Structural changes have been agreed to improve the running of JADCO ©JADCOStructural changes to the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) have been agreed in order to improve the running of the organisation.

This is seen as a key step in improving anti-doping approaches on the Caribbean island, following several high profile failures in recent years, including those involving Olympic gold medallists Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.

Last year, an Extraordinary Audit was also conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency in response to these problems, while chairman Herb Elliott led a mass resignation of the organisation's executive management, with executive director Carey Brown installed instead.

Following a debate in Jamaican Parliament, Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding introduced a new Anti-Doping in Sport Bill, which will also ensure Jamaica's compliance with the new World Anti-Doping Code due to come effect on January 1.

The Bill deemed JADCO an independent body charged with implementing and enforcing the revised code, the Jamaica Observer reported, while it also established a Board of Directors, an independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, and an Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal.

The organisations budget has increased by a 110 per cent in 2014 in order  to conduct in and out-of-competition testing, it was revealed, with the Agency to assume more control of its own accounts.

A symposium is scheduled to held in January to educate stakeholders about the new Act and the anti-doping rules.

As part of the agreement, JADCO will also be responsible for preparing a monthly newsletter distributed to all athletes as part of an educational drive.

JADCO will also undertakes "sensitisation" sessions in schools to instill a strong anti-doping message at a younger age. 

Asafa Powell is appealing to reduce his ban from 18 months to three months ©Getty ImagesAsafa Powell is appealing to reduce his ban from 18 months to three months ©Getty Images

Doping problems in athletics in particular have rarely ever been out of the headlines this month, after several allegations were exposed by a German television documentary, including claims of "systematic" doping within the Russian team.

It was also confirmed last week that Kenyan marathon star Rita Jeptoo had suffered a positive B-sample for erythropoietin (EPO) as she becomes the latest global star to fail a test.

It is unsurprising, therefore, the Jamaican Bill drew support from all figures at the debate, although one opposition representative, Senator Alexander Williams, expressed his hope that JADCO would be able to better "draw its own cheques" as a result of the changes, to avoid reliance on other Government Departments.

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