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'I missed the track' - VCB elated after being cleared in doping case, given green light to compete again

Published:Tuesday | February 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Jamaican sprinting star Veronica Campbell-Brown has described her ordeal as a painful one and admitted to missing the track, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned a two-year ban by the IAAF Doping Review Board yesterday, clearing her to return to competition.

Campbell-Brown had been suspended since testing positive for a banned substance at last May's Jamaica International Invitational, with a Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Disciplinary Panel later recommending a public reprimand for the athlete following a three-day in camera hearing.

However, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Doping Review Board recently overturned the JAAA Disciplinary Panel's ruling, slapping a two-year ban on the 31-year-old and forcing her to take her appeal to the Lausanne-based CAS, through an expedited process, facilitated by the IAAF.

It's the CAS that ruled yesterday morning that the 16-time Olympic and World Championships medallist, who was represented by former Jamaican Prime Minister Percival James Patterson and United States-based attorney Howard Jacobs, was free to resume her career on the track.

"The final court available to us as athletes has spoken and, humbly, I say they have confirmed my innocence. I harbour too much self-respect and a similar respect for the purity of competition to resort to illegalmeans to success," Campbell-Brown said through a media release.

"The past several months of my life have brought me much pain and suffering, however, my faith, family, friends and fans have stood by me as a source of encouragement and a reminder that God's word is true in that he will never leave us nor forsake us," Campbell-Brown added before indicating she was hoping to compete at next month's IAAF World Indoor Championships where she would defend her 60m title.

"I've been training. I was born to run track and field. I love track and field. I have been doing it from I was so young and it has become a part of me," she noted during a radio interview. "I have been training hard and I thank God that he has kept me healthy through this terrible period in my life."

"I must say that I miss the track. I have been doing pro tracks since 2004 and I've never been away from the track for so long, except in 2006 when I had a serious injury, and so I'm not used to sitting at home and not competing. Honestly, I am anxious to get back on the track," Campbell-Brown continued.

"My hope is to be on the World Championships team, to get back out there and perform with the talent that He has given me and glorifying God through what He has done for me, so that is my immediate plan," said Campbell-Brown.

The JAAA was expected to name its team to the IAAF World Indoor Championships last night. The championships will take place in Sopot, Poland, March 7-9.

Campbell-Brown also paid special thanks to her agent Claude Bryan, husband Omar, and supporters, as well as the IAAF for expediting her case to the CAS.