KINGSTON, Jamaica — A Jamaican who competed in taekwondo at the London Olympics said Tuesday he has tested positive for a banned substance.
Kenneth Edwards said he was notified a month ago about the diuretic and is awaiting results of a backup sample. A diuretic reduces body fluids and can mask drug use. He added he has not competed since July.
“I remain committed to being a professional athlete and would not do anything to compromise that position,” he said in a statement. “I have every intention of challenging these findings.”
Jason McKay, captain of Jamaica’s combined martial arts team, told The Gleaner newspaper he supports Edwards.
“From what we understand, a diuretic has appeared in his sample, which we are sure must be a mistake of some sort because, apart from his unquestionable honesty and integrity, there is no practical reason for him to be taking a diuretic, or any masking agent, when not competing,” he said.
The announcement comes as the world’s anti-doping authority launches a sweeping audit of Jamaica’s drug-testing agency amid allegations of inconsistent testing. WADA officials expect to visit the Caribbean island at the end of this year or the beginning of 2014.
Doping investigations also are underway involving other Jamaicans, including sprint stars Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson. An anti-doping panel also publicly warned Veronica Campbell-Brown for a violation, but she has
been cleared to resume competition.
Herb Elliott, chairman of Jamaica’s Anti-Doping Commission, did not return calls. He previously dismissed allegations about testing lapses between January 2012 to the July opening of the Olympics.