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Court of Arbitration stays two-year drug ban for Traves Smikle

Published:Friday | February 20, 2015 | 2:56 PMLeighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Traves Smikle - File

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has granted a stay of the two-year ban imposed on discus thrower Traves Smikle until it hears the case against him.

Smikle was banned by a Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel in 2014 after his urine sample from the June 2013 National Championships was found to have traces of Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), a diuretic used by some athletes to lose weight or mask the use of anabolic steroids.

His appeal against the sanction had failed before an Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal on Saturday, February 6.

No date has been set for Smikle to appear before the CAS.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo) have until February 26 to file a response to the court's stay.

Should Smikle's appeal fail before CAS, his ban which expires in June 2015, will be re-imposed.

Should JADCo  lose it will have to stand costs.

The Appeals Tribunal comprising Justice Howard Cooke, Justice Algermon Smith, Dr Charlesworth Roberts and Mrs. Edith Allen found that despite the fact that JADCo breached International Testing Standards by not collecting the athlete's three partial samples in separate containers it did not invalidate the test results because he failed to establish how the HCTZ may have got into his body or sample.

Citing evidence raised in the case of Veronica Campbell-Brown when she appeared before CAS in 2014 under similar circumstances, Smikle's lawyers had argued that the test site or water used by the athlete to wash his hands during the sample collection process could have been contaminated.

Smikle, a second-year student of the University of the West Indies, has always maintained his innocence.

"As an athlete, I must take responsibility for whatever is found in my body; however I wish to state that I did not knowingly or wilfully ingest any banned substance. I have requested analysis of the B sample and await notification of the time and date for this to be done," the national record holder said in a statement released in July 2013.

"I am willing and stand ready to work with JADCo and the relevant authorities in any investigation to get this matter dealt with in the best way possible," he further said.