April 27, 2014 (ISN) – Another member of the three-man panel that convicted Jamaican athletes Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson is facing criminal charges, casting further doubt over the legitimacy of two of the country’s biggest stars.
Medical doctor Jephthah Ford has appeared in court accused of trying to bribe a policeman to try to persuade him to drop charges against two Surinamese nationals.
Ford allegedly offered the police officer 40 per cent of the JMD$60 million (£325,000/$546,000/€395,000) seized from the two men who were arrested earlier this month.
Charges against the two men have subsequently been dropped.
But the day before the men appeared in court, the lead police investigator claimed he got a telephone call from a man who identified himself as Ford and who requested to meet with him.
Fitted with a covert recording device the investigator met with Ford at his St Andrew office, where he alleges the attempt to bribe him took place.
Ford has been granted bail on condition he surrenders his travel documents and is due to appear in court again on May 9.
Jephthah Ford (right) and Lennox Gayle (left), two of the three members of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel which gave Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson controversial 18 month doping bans, are now facing serious criminal charges ©AFP/Getty Images
But the arrest of Ford is sure to raise fresh doubts over the integrity of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel which handed out 18 month bans to former world 100 metres record holder Powell and Athens 2004 Olympic gold medallist Simpson after each tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrone.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Lennox Gayle, deputy chairman of the Panel, had been arrested following a raid at a massage parlour he allegedly owns.
“The decisions of this panel must now be revisited,” Richard Ings, former chairman and chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, told The Daily Telegraph.
“Allegations like this eliminate trust.
“Athletes need to be assured that those judging their behaviour are fair, impartial and beyond bribery or corruption.”