Traves Smikle ban upheld
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Traves Smikle might need to resort to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to get the justice he desires after an Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal yesterday upheld a two-year ban imposed on the athlete last year for failing a drug test for the diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).
Smikle tested positive for the diuretic at the National Championships in June 2013. His ban will effectively expire in June 2015. However, Smikle was hoping to clear his name when he appeared before the Appeals Tribunal at the Jamaica Conference Centre, represented by Dr Emir Crowne, an anti-doping attorney who made his submissions via telephone link from Canada.
At yesterday's conclusion, the panel of Justice Howard Cooke, Justice Algermon Smith, Dr Charlesworth Roberts and Edith Allen found that Dr Crowne had not done enough, and as such, "the appeal fails".
According to the tribunal, Dr Crowne placed great reliance on the case of Veronica Campbell-Brown, whose two-year ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after it was found that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission breached International Testing Standards by allowing the athlete to produce all of her partial samples in the same container. This is in contravention to IST protocol that states that all partial samples must be delivered in separate containers so as to reduce the risk of contamination.
The tribunal said, however, that according to JADCO Anti-Doping rule 3.2.2 the fact that the protocol was breached does not invalidate the results unless the athlete can establish how the banned substance got into his or her body and by extension their urine sample.
They also suggested that Smikle's attorneys did not go far enough with evidence they had at their disposal to bolster the athlete's case. For example, at the initial hearing Dr Wayne McLaughlin testified that the specific gravity of the substance found in Smikle's sample was not consistent with use as a diuretic. However, Smikle's attorneys did not move the evidence forward to a definitive conclusion. Dr Crowne did not even use that information as part of his defence, the tribunal determined.
Therefore, the tribunal said it could come to no other conclusion but to uphold the ban.
Smikle declined to comment on the outcome. However, Dalton Myers, director of sports at the University of the West Indies where Smikle is a second-year student, said it was too early to say if the athlete was going to proceed further. He said the athlete and his handlers would discuss the matter in detail before arriving at a decision.