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An interesting little skirmish is going on right under our noses. One of the local papers has been putting forward a proposal, quite openly and quite cogently, that a major public organization should dismiss its Board. The Gleaner thinks JADCO has fallen down on the job: “…they have managed the recent affairs of the agency incompetently…”, the Gleaner Editorial stated boldly today. The Observer has had a similar point, but I feel that the Gleaner has been more strident.

I’m interested in how things work out here. I’m also of the view that JADCO has done a poor job of managing the country’s affairs as a drug testing agency, by what it has done, what it has not done, what it has said, and more evidently by what it has not said. I don’t mind standing up and saying that JADCO is a good example of how not to manage public relations.

Times have changed and what is clear is that JADCO does not see that open and fluid communication is part of its remit. Informing and clarifying in anticipation of requests seem to have been beyond its remit. It has a public face that is blank.

What’s interesting to me is whether any change will be made, and if it is, how the government will spin it. They could say something like, “…in light of public discontent..” or “…time for a change and a breath of fresh air…”, or “…new directions from the Board are needed to coincide with the arrival of a new Executive Director…” Many options are there. WIll the government want to suggest that its decision in independent, or that it’s reflective of a concern that public confidence needs to be bolstered by a change.

What’s been funny to watch has been how the image of the athletes has been tainted by an institution that should help keep the image pristine. That seems to have been the case by the suspicion JADCO has allowed to surround what it’s been doing. The athletes can fess up, but the drug testing agent seems hard pressed to do the same.

We know that there are many hands washing many backs in terms of how public power is wielded, so I would not necessarily expect to hear any self-criticism from JADCO except of the most minor kind. I would also be surprised if the JAAA stood up and made its voice heard clearly. So, maybe the athletes need to make sure that people understand how they are all being held to ransom by an agency they do not control.

Of course, nothing may happen–though, I’d wager that wont be the case. I’m not a gambler but maybe a little wager on this one would be a good payer.

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