World and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says she will refuse to run in major events unless the island nation’s federation “stands by” its athletes.
Her comment comes in the wake of Jamaica’s most senior drug tester assessment that the recent rash of failed drug test by the country’s athletes might be the “tip of an iceberg”.
Fraser-Pryce told BBC Sport such comment hurts.
“It is important that our federation stands by our athletes. If it’s down to making sure things are up to scratch, I would (refuse to run),” she added.
The sprinter also said she was in advanced talks to set up a union in Jamaica to give athletes a voice and to offer support and education from next year.
“If there are certain things that are not up to standard then it (staying out of the track) is something you have to do. We believe we deserve to have good things, not to have our name tarnished at a time when we are doing so well,” Fraser-Pryce noted.
“It is so important that our federation stands by our athletes, not says the kind of things they say about athletes.
“We need a voice to be able to stand up and say ‘you can’t say these things without having a proof,. We have come so far in athletics in our country but we are still stagnant in other areas.”
Dr Paul Wright earlier told BBC that Jamaica’s anti-doping regime had been woefully short of the international standard required.
Dr Wrights’s comment came a week after the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) visited the Caribbean island to audit claims by a former Jamaica Anti-Doping Agency (Jadco) executive director, Renne Ashley Shirley, that just one out-of-competition test was conducted for the country’s athletes in the six months leading to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
When asked specifically about the “tip of the iceberg” comment, Fraser-Pryce added: “That is exactly what I am saying. If you are Jamaican and make a statement like that then those things are hurtful.”
Six Jamaican athletes have tested positive this year, but Fraser-Pryce claims the country does not have a doping problem.
“We don’t have a doping issue – we are tested wherever we go,” she said.
“There is no one in Jamaica saying ‘let’s dope up to run fast’.
That is just not true. Where we have issues is with our young athletes who are getting involved in doping issues because nobody is there to give guidance.
“We are doing very well for our country internationally but when we are in Jamaica our athletes are not being looked after. We are selling our country and marketing our country to the word and not being paid for it.
“Why aren’t we getting the support we deserve? A lot of our young athletes are struggling back in Jamaica. They are not able to get the medical attention they need, they are not able to eat properly.
“We are treated sometimes unfairly. It is almost as if they (the federation) don’t believe we are world class athletes. We are international athletes and we should be treated that way. We should be able to say that if things don’t go our way we will not be running.”
Fraser-Pryce has enjoyed another incredible year of success, adding three world championship titles, in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, to the one gold and two silver medals she won in those events at the 2012 Olympics. But she rejected any suggestions that Jamaica’s doping problems had overshadowed her success.
“I don’t think it has cast any shadow over my achievements,” she said.
“It can get discouraging at times. Of course it is something I hope will get better. As athletes our job is to train and compete. There is nothing for me to hide.”
(Materials from the BBC Sports were used in this report)