Smikle to know fate February 12
Leighton Levy, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Traves Smikle will know on Thursday, February 12, whether he was successful in getting his two-year drug ban reduced from two years to a reprimand.
Yesterday the Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal heard arguments from his lawyer, Dr Emir Crowne, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, that because the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) breached international testing standards while collecting three partial samples from the discus thrower in July 2013, the sample could have been contaminated. He also argued that the collection site itself could also have been contaminated.
JADCO's attorney Lackston Robinson, however, countered saying that while JADCO admits that the sample collection breached international testing standards, it did not invalidate the results that showed that the discus thrower's urine sample contained Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), a diuretic is used to help athletes shed weight or mask their use of anabolic steroids.
Dr Crowne addressed the panel of Justice Howard Cooke, Justice Algermon Smith, Dr Charlesworth Roberts and Mrs Edith Allen via telephone link. He based his arguments on the case of fellow Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown whose two-year ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2014.
Campbell-Brown had tested positive for a diuretic but that ban was lifted after CAS found that there were several breaches of international testing standards that could have led to the contamination of her sample.
Based on the expert testimony of Professor Peter Sever in the Campbell-Brown case, 97 samples collected during the period when Campbell Brown tested negative for HCTZ, none were partial samples and that there was a 100 per cent positive finding for HCTZ from partial tests conducted. This suggested that the environment could have been contaminated.
Another point arising from the Campbell-Brown case was that worldwide there was found to be a significant disparity between positive cases of HCTZ which stood at 0.05 percent and the proportion of positives from tests conducted at the National Stadium, which stood at three percent, 60 times the worldwide rate.
He urged the panel to consider that possibility and that water that Smikle used to wash his hands before and after sealing and unsealing his collection kit six times during the sample collection could have led to contamination. Jamaica, he said, has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world and the widespread use of HCTZ in Jamaica could have some bearing on why the athlete tested positive, especially when considering how close the Mona Reservoir is to the stadium.
Robinson, however, said Smikle's case was different from Campbell-Brown's in that she did not have her sample kit with her at all times and that the spout of her sample kit was uncovered. Smikle, he said, was in possession of his collection kit at all times and the spout was covered with tape thus preventing anything from getting in or out.
He said that for the panel to consider contamination of the site the athlete ought to have presented evidence at his initial hearing to prove that the site or water may have been contaminated by HCTZ.