Warning for Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown

Published: Thursday | October 3, 2013 Comments 0
Veronica Campbell-Brown
Veronica Campbell-Brown

André Lowe and Leighton Levy
Gleaner Writers

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) disciplinary panel, which presided over the Veronica Campbell-Brown case, has recommended that the athlete receive a public warning in respect of the adverse analytical finding she returned from the May 4 Jamaica International Invitational.

If upheld, the public-warning recommendation would mean that the sprinter would be cleared to compete immediately and her team, headed by lead attorney and former Prime Minister Percival James Patterson, would be hoping that the JAAA disciplinary panel's recommendation is ratified by the sport's global authority, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The JAAA's official release on the matter, issued last night, said: "The disciplinary committee has issued a ruling that VCB has committed an anti-doping violation, contrary to IAAF Rule 32.2a.

"They have recommended that a reprimand without any period of ineligibility would be appropriate."

Campbell-Brown, one of Jamaica's most decorated athletes, tested positive for a banned substance at the meet. She was subsequently suspended provisionally by the JAAA and brought before the panel, which was chaired by former Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe and completed by Dr Aggrey Irons, president of the Medical Association of Jamaica, and noted attorney Lincoln Eatmon.

According to Gleaner sources, the recommendation was only recently submitted to the IAAF because panel Chairman Wolfe was off the island.

NO INTENTION TO CHEAT

It is understood that the panel ruled that the 31-year-old athlete, a seven-time Olympic medallist, did not use the prohibited substance in order to gain an unfair advantage or to enhance performance.

Echoing the sentiments of IAAF official Nick Davies, who, shortly after news broke of the failed drug test, described the offence as "minor", the panel also noted that a public warning was the most appropriate repercussion.

The in-camera hearing, which started September 2, was hit with several early roadblocks, after a number of crucial documents - such as the chain of custody forms for the sample taken from the athlete as well as the witness statements - were not prepared and presented until the third day of the hearing.

Shortly after news surfaced of the doping violation, Campbell-Brown denied knowingly taking any banned substance in a media release sent by her manager, Claude Bryan.

"Veronica is not a cheat. She has, via hard work and dedication, accomplished a record on the track which is absolutely remarkable," read the release, which was sent on June 18.

"Due to her determination to vigorously pursue the clearing of her name, she will desist from being vocal, suffice it to say, while not accepting guilt of wilfully taking a banned substance, she wholeheartedly apologises to her family, Jamaica, her sponsors, the governing body, the world athletics family, her supporters, as well as those she worked with in various non-athletic causes, for any embarrassment and/or hurt this devastating news has caused," the release continued.

Campbell-Brown has won 16 medals at the Olympic and World Championships level.

The JAAA's official release on the matter, issued last night, said, "The disciplinary committee has issued a ruling that VCB has committed an anti doping violation, contrary to IAAF Rule 32.2a.

"They have recommended that a reprimand without any period of ineligibility would be appropriate.

All relevant parties involved have been duly informed

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