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ATHLETICS: Traves Smikle to compete at GC Foster Classic following stay of drug ban

Published:Friday | March 13, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeighton Levy

Jamaica’s national discus record holder Traves Smikle will compete for the first time in almost two years when he enters the ring at the GC Foster Classic at the National Stadium tomorrow as the provisional stay on his two-year drug ban.

Smikle’s coach Julian Robinson confirmed today that the athlete will be competing at the meet as he seeks to achieve a qualifying mark for the IAAF World Championships in China this summer.

In a judgement handed down Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) formalized the ban.

The stay had been granted on February 12 following a submission by Smikle’s attorney Dr. Emir Crowne, the same day the Anti-Doping Tribunal in Kingston ruled that his appeal for a reduction of the ban had failed.

The members of the tribunal ruled that no evidence was provided which sufficiently explained how the athlete’s sample had come to have hydrochlorothiazide – a diuretic used by athletes to lose weight or mask the use of anabolic steroids.

The sample was collected by a Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo) doping control officer in June 2013 at the National Stadium.

In his arguments to CAS, Crowne submitted that Smikle, an athlete in his prime, was unable to compete in or train for competitions like the 2015 IAAF World Athletic Championships in Beijing, China or the 2016 Olympics in Rio and that there were a number of qualifying meets for these events on which the athlete would miss out.

Crowne also submitted that Smikle’s four-year academic scholarship at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, was at risk as the ban does not allow him to meet his obligations under the terms of the scholarship.

Crowne also argued that Smikle’s appeal had a greater chance of success than failure before the CAS.

JADCo in its submissions claimed that provisions had been made for Smikle to keep his scholarship and also insisted that Smikle’s chances at success in his appeal were negligible.

But CAS sided with Smikle.

“After considering the submissions of the parties, and the applicable articles of the Code, and the relative jurisprudence, the execution of the decision of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal orally rendered on 12 February 2014, be stayed until such time as the appeal filed by the Appellant has been heard and a decision rendered by the CAS Panel,” the official ruling stated above the signature of Ms. Corrine Schmidhauser, President of the Appeals Arbitration Division.