Athlete challenges six-year doping ban

BY PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator Crime/Court Desk

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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BANNED 400m runner Dominique Blake is challenging her six year suspension imposed by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel which resulted from a positive test for methylhexanamine at last year's Olympic Trials.

The 26-year-old Blake, through Queen's Counsel Patrick Foster, has petitioned the Jamaica Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal with a view to having the body overturn the sanction imposed on June 13 this year.

According to documents filed with the appellate body, Blake is asking for the six year ban to be replaced with a period of ineligibility of one year. Blake is asking for the one-year ineligibility to commence on the date of her adverse analytical finding, in early July 2012.

Should the appeal tribunal accede to her request, it would mean that Blake, who had been out of competition since last August, would have already served the ban.

"The six-year penalty was harsh and I didn't think the panel considered all the relevant facts," Foster, who is with the law firm Nunes, Scholefield, Deleon & Co, told the Jamaica Observer on Monday. "At her age it is effectively a life ban."

Blake tested positive for the banned substance after finishing sixth in the 400m in 51.83 seconds at the National Stadium. She was a part of the 4x400m relay alternate team, but did not compete for Jamaica team went on to mine bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.

She was informed on August 29, after the Olympic concluded, of her adverse test.

It was Blake's second doping sanction following her suspension for nine months in 2006 for testing positive for ephedrine.

Among the grounds for Blake's appeal is that the disciplinary panel "failed to properly consider the evidence" and Blake's "peculiar circumstances or to give any weight to the corroborative and/or independent evidence including documentary evidence presented by" her.

"The disciplinary panel failed to have any regard for the admissions made by the expert witness called by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission... that the product consumed by the appellant, and which contained the prohibited substance, had been effectively 'mislabelled' on the website where the appellant had ordered the product," was another point raised.

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