Mullings' legal team eyes CAS
Alando Terrelonge, the lawyer representing embattled national sprinter Steve Mullings, says in light of yesterday's ruling by members of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) disciplinary panel not to accept into evidence an affidavit by Mullings, it is very likely that the case could be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
According to Terrelonge, who along with Patrick Bailey are representing Mullings, they are looking at taking the case to CAS. They will base their argument on an unfair hearing, as Mullings in the affidavit explained to the panel that he could not attend the hearing due to the fact that he is being "set up", and he is "fearful for his life".
"Based on what has happened thus far, if the ruling is not in Mr Mullings' favour we will have to take the matter elsewhere ... to the Court of Arbitration for Sports," said Terrelonge at the end of yesterday's second day of the hearing, in which evidence was given by JADCO's third witness, JADCO official Cara Ann Bennett.
He added: "This would be primarily based on the fact that he did not get a fair hearing in Jamaica and there is a basis for appeal."
Terrelonge's statements came after the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission's three-man Disciplinary Panel of Dr Japheth Forde, Lennox Gayle and Peter Prendergast refused to accept the affidavit, based on the fact that, among other things, it included damning statements that needed to be verified by Mullings.
The panel also said that it was unfair for the lawyer representing JADCO, Lackston Robinson, not to be given the opportunity to properly cross-examine Mullings.
However, according to Terrelonge, in refusing the affidavit, the panel did not carry out its function properly, as per JADCO rules.
"I pointed out to the panel that they had a wide discretion to allow the affidavit, which explained why Mr Mullings could not be here," said Terrelonge.
"In addition, I indicated that the principles of fairness and natural justice would dictate that they ought to allow the affidavit to be taken into evidence, as the only person who stand to be prejudiced is Mr Mullings.
"They then deliberated for a few minutes, and said no ... and essentially that Mr Mullings should have been here."
Terrelonge further explained that to show that Mullings was not trying to avoid the hearing, he made an application to the panel to have his client appear via a laptop computer video-link.
"I protested the ruling and explained that I had taken my laptop to the hearing, and if needs be Mr Mullings is available via video-link, whereby he could be cross-examined, if necessary.
"The panel still maintained no ... that no application was made for that to be done. I then said to the panel that the application is being made now, and that there was no rule that stated a timeline to make applications. They, however, declined to entertain the idea," Terrelonge said.
The hearing, which saw JADCO calling on their control officer, Dr Paul Wright, and chaperone Dorel Savage to give witness on day one, is slated to continue next Wednesday.