André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Yesterday's decision by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel to impose a six-year ban on Jamaican 400m athlete Dominique Blake for doping was described as 'harsh and disproportionate' by her lawyer Patrick Foster.
The ban took effect yesterday.
Blake, who 'appeared' at yesterday's hearing at the Jamaica Conference Centre via popular video calling platform Skype, tested positive at last year's Olympic trials for the banned substance methyhexaneamine, is said to be distraught. She has 28 days to appeal the ruling.
"I believe the decision of the panel was harsh and unreasonable considering the facts that they had before them," Foster told The Gleaner. "One issue that we emphasised was that she took the substance for her general health and well-being and that she didn't take it to enhance sports performance."
"I spoke with her briefly after the ruling and she was quite distraught that they imposed the penalty that they did," said Foster.
"I didn't expect a full exoneration, I expected a one or maybe a two-year ban, but I think six years is disproportionate," Foster added, before noting that Blake will now have to decide whether to appeal the decision or not.
Jamaica Anti-Doping Com-mission (JADCO) chairman Herb Elliott said he was pleased with the execution of the procedures and maintained that the organisation continues to meet its mandate to not only test but also to educate.
"There were a number of postponements but the person is entitled to these things. I think she got a fair hearing and the commissioners arrived at their decision. I have nothing to say about their decision, it has nothing to do with JADCO; the disciplinary panel is totally separated from the rest of JADCO," said Elliott.
Blake finished sixth in the 400m at the Olympic trials and travelled to the games as a member of the 4x400m relay squad. She, however, did not compete at the Games.