Jamaicans in doping affair can run in worlds

Berlin: Five Jamaican athletes involved in a doping affair can compete at the world championships because a Jamaican doping panel has postponed its hearing until after the Aug. 15-23 event, the IAAF said.

"As of today they are not suspended," International Association of Athletics Federations general secretary Pierre Weiss told reporters. "There was no decision (in Jamaica) to suspend them."

Sprinters Yohan Blake, Marvin Anderson and Sheri-Ann Brooks as well as Allodin Fothergill and Lansford Spence had tested positive for the stimulant methylxanthine.

They were initially cleared by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission`s (JADCO) disciplinary committee.

However, JADCO itself then appealed the verdict saying the substance had a similar structure to tuaminoheptane, a banned stimulant according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Weiss said the independent panel, which was expected to decide on Monday whether to ban the athletes, had now decided to hold their hearing after the world championships.

"The panel will not meet before the end of the championships," he said.

Weiss said it was entirely in Jamaica`s hands whether the athletes competed in the 4x100 and 4x400 metres relays because if Jamaica won medals and they were subsequently banned the IAAF would be forced to take their medals away.

"If they compete and afterwards the panel declares they are guilty then we have to cancel the results," Weiss said. "If they win a gold medal then they would lose it (if suspended)."

He said as far as he knew the athletes were still in Jamaica but the national team had until an hour before the races to enter specific athletes by name.

"Physically the can still race here. They can come here," he said.

The relay competitions start on Friday and continue to Sunday, the last day of the championships.

Bureau Report