Following the recent failed drug test and impeding suspension of Jamaican Olympic champ Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt’s coach Glen Mills said it was time for the government to create an accredited anti-doping lab to “ensure the purity of substances” the athletes are using for training.
“It just re-emphasizes the need for all involved to be extremely vigilant and the great need for Jamaica to establish an accredited lab so that athletes can have substances tested and verified before usage,” Mills told RJR 94FM radio in Jamaica. “It’s a minefield out there. Any substance that you take up could be contaminated.”
Mills, who also coaches 2011 world 100m champ and London silver medealist Yohan Blake, is concerned that athlete’s careers could be derailed if they can’t test substances for training. Jamaican samples are currently processed in other countries, including at WADA headquarters in Montreal.
Campbell-Brown, 31, tested positive for a banned diuretic that’s known for its use as a masking agent for performance enhancing drugs. She’s facing a two year ban from the IAAF, but wont know until next week.
The three-time gold medalist is one of a dozen Jamaican athletes who’ve faced suspensions of three months or more during the last five years, a span that’s seen Jamaica dominate track and field at the Olympics, with 23 medals won between London and Beijing. Jamaican 400m runner Dominique Blake was suspended six years on Thursday for failing a drug test in the lead up to the London Games.
If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.
Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.
Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.
If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.
Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.
The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.
Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.
The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.
Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.
Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.
Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.
The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.