Inconsistencies in Smikle hearing

Published: Wednesday | December 18, 2013 Comments 0

Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

Several inconsistencies emerged yesterday in the testimony of Jamaican discus record holder Traves Smikle on day two of the disciplinary hearing into his drug case that is being convened at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

The 21-year-old athlete, who tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) during the National Championships in June, was grilled for approximately 94 minutes by Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) attorney Lackston Robinson.

In his witness statement, Smikle had said that he had declared to testers that he had stopped taking a new 'vitamin' Animal Pak, a supplement used by bodybuilders, in the weeks leading up to the National Championships last June.

However, in response to Robinson's questions yesterday, he said he had only started taking the supplement "a couple of weeks" before the championships, where he and four other Jamaicans failed drug tests.

Smikle told the panel headed by former Director of Public Prosecutions, Kent Pantry, and including two-time Olympic silver medallist Juliet Cuthbert Flynn and Dr Irvin Crandon, that he only started taking supplements in 2012 after he became a student of the University of the West Indies (UWI). He said before he started taking supplements, he spoke with his coach, Julian Robinson, who told him that some vitamins may not be good for him, but he did not have extensive knowledge of vitamins.

He said the physiotherapist at the university, Kerrylee Ricketts, recommended some to him, and he started taking Omega 3 and Twin Lab vitamins. He said he began taking Animal Pak two weeks before the National Championships. He said he had been getting sick a lot and his regular vitamins had run out, so he obtained two packs of Animal Pak. He did not tell his coach about it until a few months after the National Championships.

However, Robinson referred to Smikle's statement that was submitted into evidence prior to the start of the hearing on Monday. In it, Smikle said he had stopped taking Animal Pak weeks before the National Championships.

It came out during the proceedings that samples of the other vitamins Smikle had been taking were tested and found to be free of HCTZ. However, his supply of Animal Pak was depleted and hence was not available to be tested.

The hearing was adjourned until January 31, when both sides will make submissions.


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