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'Not so bad' - IAAF spokesman says VCB's doping case appears to be a minor offence

Published:Thursday | June 20, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Veronica Campbell-Brown

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

An OFFICIAL of track and field's world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) yesterday noted that the doping case involving Jamaican star Veronica Campbell-Brown was "minor" and suggested that the reaction has been heightened due to the athlete's international status.

Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned substance believed to be a diuretic at the Jamaica International Invitational on May 4, triggering widescale international reaction, much of which, according to IAAF spokesman Nick Davies, was disproportionate to the offence.

"We can acknowledge that there is a case, but also take the opportunity to urge a sense of perspective," Davies said in a report published by the Associated Press yesterday. "This seems from evidence to be a minor doping offence according to our rules, so we want to remain realistic in our reaction, pending the conclusion of the case."

Davies also stated: "Although we would not normally comment on active cases, … all evidence seems to point to this offence being a lesser one."


Responding to questions posed by The Gleaner via email, Davies also noted that he believed the situation has taken on great interest because of Campbell-Brown's international profile and appeal, while pointing to the potential impact on the sport, and the athlete as well.

"Yes, there has been a disproportionate reaction, probably due to the fact that the athlete is a prominent Jamaican sprinter," Davies said.

"It is very unfortunate when there are leaks (of information) - as has been the case here - since this is bad both for the athlete affected and for the sport in general," Davies added.

The penalty for minor offences can range from a public warning to a suspension of a few months, as opposed to the mandatory two-year ban for serious cases.

It was announced on Tuesday by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association that Campbell-Brown, the current 200m World champion and a seven-time Olympic medallist, was suspended from competition, pending the decision of a disciplinary panel, which will shortly review the case.

"It is up to our member federations to enforce our rules," Davies outlined.

Campbell-Brown's management team also released a statement on Tuesday acknowledging the positive test while pleading the athlete's innocence of knowingly taking a banned substance.