JADCO convenes disciplinary panel to hear case for Jamaica bodybuilder Lewis

By Sports Desk March 17, 2021

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary (JADCO) has convened an Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel to hold a disciplinary hearing for national bodybuilder Deidre Lewis.

A few weeks ago, revelations came to light that an athlete had returned an adverse analytical finding, but the details of the situation have been kept relatively close to the association.

According to the release, Lewis will face the disciplinary panel via a virtual hearing, on Thursday.  The release also stated that the hearing, as is the protocol of JADCO, will be held in-camera.

Lewis, who competes in the Bikini Fitness Short Class category, won the national title last year, before competing in Aruba last August where she was second in the short class, finishing behind Febe Moreno of Mexico.  Lewis was third overall in the Bikini Fitness category.

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    The Jamaica Bodybuilding and Fitness Association (JABBFA) officially launched its Novice, Junior, and Elite Bodybuilding Championships on Thursday, marking the start of an extended 2024 season. The launch event took place at the headquarters of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston, setting the stage for an exciting year of bodybuilding and fitness competitions under the theme "Strong Minds, Strong Bodies: A Synergy of Physical Strength and Mental Wellness."

    The 2024 Novice, Junior, and Elite Bodybuilding Championships will take place on Saturday, June 29th, 2024, at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston. The event will commence at 7:00 pm, featuring 45 athletes from 12 gyms across eight parishes competing for top honours in their respective divisions.

    Participants will vie for a range of prizes, including trophies, gift baskets, gift certificates, and gym memberships. The overall winners will qualify for the Elite Category and advance to the National Senior Championships later in the year, offering them a chance to further establish their prowess in the sport.

    Kirk Frankson, President of JABBFA, highlighted the significance of the Novice, Junior, and Elite Championships as the season opener. "We've decided to extend our season; we're actually looking at having two new events. So in addition to our usual Novice, Junior and Elite Championships happening June 29 at the Courtleigh Auditorium, we're having on August 25, the Western Regional Championship at the Negril Tree House, September 28 is our regular National Senior Championships, and then on October 26, we're having our Jamaica Invitational. So that's our entire season," Frankson told Sportsmax.TV.

    The Jamaica Invitational, in particular, is poised to become a major event on the bodybuilding calendar. JABBFA aims to make it a pro-qualifier, akin to prominent competitions in St. Maarten and Barbados. Frankson noted the challenges faced by Jamaican athletes in accessing pro-qualifier competitions in Europe and the USA, and emphasized the strategic shift to establish a local pro-qualifier.

    "One of the difficulties that JABBFA struggles with like most sporting associations, is that the athletes had a challenge getting to pro-qualifier competitions in Europe, the USA, so we recognized that rather than trying to exert all of our energies by sending smaller teams, we're actually trying to re-direct our energies into having a pro-qualifier locally," he explained.

    JABBFA has begun laying the groundwork for the Jamaica Invitational by training judges and setting up the necessary framework to host a pro-qualifier event. The long-term goal is to attract not only Caribbean athletes but also competitors from Europe and North America, thereby contributing to sports tourism in Jamaica.

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    “Signing with Benfica is a dream come true," Brown told SportsMax.TV, the pride and emotion evident in her tone.

    Brown puts pen to paper

    “I remember when I just started playing football with the boys in my community, I always aspired to play professionally, and to do so with a club like Benfica is an incredible honour. It’s a nice club, with a lot of history and I always strived to ensure that whichever club I join is one where I can improve and develop my game at a different level. So I’m really excited to join Benfica and can’t wait to get started,” she declared.

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    "Being a part of Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz has been an amazing experience. It's where I learned to handle pressure and developed my game against some of the best players in the world and I can say that those experiences have prepared me for this next step in my career,” she shared.

    “If I should attribute my rise to this level to anything, I would say it is a testament of all the hard work, dedication, and support from my family, coaches, and teammates over the years,” added Brown, who recently assisted Florida State University to the NCAA Division 1 Women's Championship and their retention of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship title last season.

    Brown shares the occasion with former Reggae Girlz Head coach Hue Menzies.

    Standing at a shade over 5ft 2in, Brown’s physical presence is by no means imposing, but when the ball is at her feet, she is bound to cause all kinds of problems. It is that explosiveness and the ease at which she glides past opponents on occasions that will make the Reggae Girlz winger a key factor at SL Benfica.

    Beyond that, Brown, who has a Bachelor's degree in Humanities, believes the club’s strong commitment to developing talent, coupled with the fact that the Portuguese league is known for its technical style of play, provides the perfect environment for her to continue her growth.

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    Benfica, the current champions of Portugal, will be involved in Champions League football next season.

    “⁠I’m just ready to get settled and hopefully achieve all the goals of the team. I’m ready to adapt in every way possible because that’s a part of the journey of wanting to be the best person or player in an environment where you are not afraid to be yourself. I know what I’m capable of doing and I’m just going to continue learning and improving,” the soft-spoken player said with an air of confidence.

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    “It shows that with talent and determination, they too can reach the pinnacle of the sport. We knew she was going to be a special player, so we invested the effort to get her through the process, because she was only 14, so we had to get her acclimated academically and then get her into the youth club system.

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