London: British sprinter Bernice Wilson has been banned for four years after testing positive for anabolic steroids, UK Anti-Doping said on Friday.
Wilson, 27, was provisionally suspended after testing positive for testosterone and clenbuterol in June last year and will now be ineligible to compete until July 2015 after an independent panel decided her case warranted the maximum sanction.
A statement from UK Anti-Doping said the panel agreed it was a `very bad case of doping` and that `far from admitting her guilt...she sought to blame other people`".
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has a standard two-year ban for doping offenders, although it provides scope for an increase if there are aggravating circumstances such as using more than one prohibited substance or "deceptive conduct".
"We have successfully argued for a four-year ban which demonstrates that UK Anti-Doping always seeks robust sanctions against athletes who look to cheat the system and betray those around them," UK Anti-Doping CEO Andy Parkinson said.
"This sends a strong message to anyone looking to dope in the UK and gives clean athletes the confidence that we are working hard on their behalf, within the framework of the World Anti-Doping Code, to protect their right to compete in doping-free sport."
Wilson represented Britain at the European Indoor Championships in Paris last year, reaching the semi-finals of the 60m.
Her ban comes the day after the London 2012 Olympics organising committee unveiled a 20 million pounds drug-testing facility that will be used to process more than 6,000 samples taken at this year`s Games.
First Published: Friday, January 20, 2012, 19:03