Former prime minister and top Queen’s Counsel PJ Patterson says he won’t be coming out of retirement despite outcry for him to lead the defence of Jamaica’s embattled sprinter Nesta Carter. The athlete failed a drug test in a recent retesting of 2008 Olympic samples.
However, Patterson, 81, who retired from active politics in 2006 after 14 years as prime minister, told the Jamaica Observer that a top legal team is being assembled to defend Carter in Switzerland and he will be providing the neccessary assistance.
“Regrettably, I came out once and I do not intend to return to the field of litigation at this time. I came out of retirement for VCB (Veronica Campbell Brown) and I intend to remain in retirement in so far as the active practice of law is concerned. But whatever opinion I can offer as counsel in the matter will be made available to the counsel engaged,” said Patterson.
Patterson was lead counsel for the team that exonerated double 200-metre Olympic champion Veronica Campbell Brown in 2014 of any doping violation.
“I have every reason to believe that the person engaged is an expert in the field and will lead a very strong refutation and defence,” he added.
“A panel has been constituted, the matter will be heard in Switzerland, the JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) to my certain knowledge is arranging not only to be present, but to ensure that Nesta Carter has the best available counsel and the technical expertise that might be required to clear his name” Patterson revealed.
Carter, who won bronze in the 100m at the 2013 World Championships and who has been a key member of Jamaica’s gold medal-winning 4x100m relay teams, tested positive for the stimulant Methylhexanamine from a retest of samples eight years ago from Beijing Olympics in China.
“Our position is clear as a country; we don’t support doping in any form. When acquisitions are levelled at those who have competed at the highest level and over those years have never been found wanting, we have an obligation to rally and ensure that they get an adequate defense and this is something in which all of us as Jamaicans have to be involved,” said Patterson.
“We are defending our good name as a country, our athletic stars and one who has an unblemished record ­— who was tested before, during and immediately after the Beijing Olympics and no noxious substance was detected,” he added.
“The particular substance for which he has been charged was not itself on the banned list in 2008, but the IOC is contesting that it is related to other prohibited substances, that is open to challenge on a scientific basis,” the very astute Patterson noted.
Patterson, who served as the sixth Prime Minister of Jamaica between 1992 and 2006, said there are questions that need to be answered.
“But another question arises: The testing for the offending substance existed and was available then, so one must ask, why was it not found then?”
“Eight years after, the chain of custody must be very carefully examined. One must also consider with fading memories how is one going to be called upon to reproduce in detail what was taken,” he pointed out.
“It should be pointed out that there were two substances which he declared a supplements. The question arises does any of those declared substances contained an offending element. That’s a matter for evidence,” he noted.
“But one has to take into account even though the substance was prohibited for the first time in 2010, even then it was acknowledged that it was as consistent with an innocent medical use as it could have been for an offending substance. All of that will have to be considered by the panel.
“What I don’t think we should do is rush to judgment and we also should make sure that he has an effective defence team available to him,” said Patterson.


  1. Agreed. If he was tested multiple times, how are they just now getting a positive result? If the substance found was not on the original ban list, he should not be held accountable now. Is it because we have so many star athletes they want to cast a shadow over our “likkle but tallawah” country.

    Very interested in following this case. Wrong is wrong but Nesta was tested as rigorously as the other athletes and found to be “clean” this “new development” is suspicious.

  2. As a former pothead I was placed on probation and had to submit to random urinalyses. One day while using my little “beat the piss test kit” I came up POSITIVE (+)…I was like hell NO! Do that over (well diluted Lipton tea mind you).

    Supervisor admin the test and when he placed the white liquid on the test I said “she used a lot more than that” he called her and she said yes. Lo and behold the bitch used more than a drop and it caused the test to read positive.

    Long story short: second opinion, keen observation and knowledge is power. Nesta Carter test is conspiratorial indeed.

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