Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Livermore negligent says anti-doping chairman

Published:Saturday | October 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Jason Livermore

Anti-doping disciplinary panel chairman, Kent Gammon, said although Jason Livermore did not show any intention to 'cheat', the panel thought the 29 year-old sprinter was 'negligent' and violated article 2.1 of the 2015 anti-doping code

Livermore was handed a two-year suspension by the independent anti-doping panel after he was found guilty at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday. He will only serve 16 months, as the period from which the suspension began will be deducted from the two-year ban.

"Having considered all possible elements before, we have been unanimously persuaded to the degree of proof required that Mr Livermore did in fact have an illegal substance in his person, and while we are of the view that Mr Livermore was not necessarily going to cheat, he was negligent," Gammon said.

"We are satisfied that the drugs were of a non-permissible substance and in fact he should have applied for therapeutic exemption. The anti-doping disciplinary panel will therefore apply article 2.1 of the 2015 anti-doping code, and in the circumstances of this case the athlete will be ineligible for two years," he said.

He noted that the period during which Livermore was suspended from competition in order to face the charges, will be taken into account and included as part of the two-year suspension. "A period of eight months and 18 days will be deducted from the two years of ineligibility," Gammon said.

Article 2.1 states that it is each athlete's personal duty to ensure that no prohibited substance enters his or her body. Athletes are responsible for any prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers found to be present in their samples accordingly. It adds that it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing use on the athlete's part be demonstrated in order to establish an anti-doping rule violation.

Livermore the 2014 Commonwealth Games 4x100 metres gold medallist and 200 metres bronze medallist was charged with the 'presence of a prohibited substance in his sample, and as a result was summoned to present his case to a three-man anti-doping panel chaired by Gammon and supported by Dr Marjorie Vassell and Heron Dale.

At a September 11 hearing Livermore told the disciplinary panel that he was taking medication prescribed by a doctor for a "life-threatening problem".

The athlete who tested positive for metabolites of Clomiphene and Mesterolone, said that he started treatment on November 29, 2016. He added that when he was approached for testing by Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) representatives on December 16, 2016, and again on December 22, 2016, he told them that he was taking medication and also declared in writing what he was taking.

Clomiphene is listed as a fertility treatment for women, while Mesterolone is described an anabolic steroid, which is often used by bodybuilders to increase libido.

In September, Livermore said that he had never heard of a therapeutic-use exemption (TUE), which athletes who are taking certain substances would require to not be deemed in violation of anti-doping rules if they test positive for a prohibited substance.