Jamaica agency admits sprinter’s test was flawed

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) Jamaica’s anti-doping agency on Wednesday acknowledged that sample collection procedures in sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown’s positive test last year were ”inconsistent” with international standards.

In a statement, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission said ”some procedures” were faulty, only specifying that ”no partial sample kits were used” in the collection process when Campbell-Brown’s urine was obtained at a national meet in May.

Carey Brown, who was appointed as executive director of JADCO in October, a couple of weeks before all 12 board members of the commission stepped down amid questions about drug testing on the island, added there was no permission from the World Anti-Doping Agency to deviate from the standard rules. He said the restructured agency has been busily upgrading its operational procedures in recent months ”to remove any weaknesses in the system.”

In a report released Tuesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said it cleared Campbell-Brown of doping because of ”deplorable” flaws in the test collection procedures in Jamaica and possible ”environmental contamination” of her urine sample.

The three-time Olympic gold medalist tested positive for the diuretic HCT at the May meet in Jamaica. She denied intentionally taking any prohibited substance and CAS upheld her appeal against a two-year doping ban.

She was initially suspended provisionally by the International Association of Athletics Federations. In September, a Jamaican disciplinary panel gave her a reprimand, but the IAAF contested the finding and ordered the Jamaican federation earlier this year to impose a two-year suspension.

Campbell-Brown appealed to CAS and a hearing was scheduled in London on Feb. 21. The case centered on the handling of her sample after she failed to produce the required amount of urine in her first attempt.

A three-man CAS arbitration panel found that the sprinter established a ”credible” possibility that her positive test resulted from Jamaica’s failure to comply with the international standards for partial sample testing. Peter Sever, head of the clinical pharmacology department at Imperial College in London, testified that the most likely explanation for her positive test was contamination of her sample through sweat or water containing HCT, a common medication for high blood pressure.

The CAS panel said the Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association ”has persistently failed to comply” with global standards. It called JAAA’s failures ”deplorable.”

On Wednesday, JAAA General Secretary Garth Gayle said they had no immediate comment.

Meanwhile, Brown, the JADCO director, said the commission is recruiting employees to fill vacancies to improve the dominant sprinting powerhouse’s testing capabilities and has trained two more doping control officers. Jamaica has recently approved a 63 percent budget increase for JADCO.

”We are now in possession of the partial sample kits,” Brown said Wednesday.

David McFadden on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmcfadd