Sport

Sweet victory!

VCB revels in being cleared by Court of Arbitration for Sports

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Tuesday, February 25, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The relief was almost palpable for Jamaica's multi-Olympic and World Championships gold medallist Veronica Campbell Brown after she was cleared yesterday of doping allegations by the Court of Arbitration in Sports (CAS).

In a radio interview on KLAS ESPN Sports 89 FM, yesterday, Campbell Brown proclaimed in her first interview just hours after the verdict was handed down: "I am feeling victorious, I am truly blessed."

Also in a release issued through OnTrack Management, Campbell Brown, a two-time IAAF World Indoors 60m and Olympic Games 200m gold medallist, said the period since last June and yesterday had been a difficult one.

"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.

"The final court available to us as athletes have 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 illegal means to success. This same self-respect will now enable me to leave behind the insensitive and ill-informed media remarks and look towards returning to the track to give of my best to God's glory.

"Yes, I lost out on the opportunity to compete for most of 2013 and the chance to defend my World 200m title, however, I press on..." the release said.

After accepting the finding of the test in June last year, Campbell Brown was provisionally suspended and missed the remainder of the 2103 season.

Earlier yesterday her manager Claude Bryan had confirmed to the Jamaica Observer that they had been informed at about 5:00 am by CAS that the 31-year-old had been cleared of any wrong doing. "She was cleared 100 per cent of any wrong doing," he said.

The clearing of her name by sports' final court of appeal in a hearing in London last Friday was a reversal of the decisions by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) last October to hand her a public warning, and by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for a lengthy ban.

Sources said the IAAF had rejected the JAAA's suggestion and had opted for the ban from competition.

Campbell Brown had appealed what the Observer understands was a two-year ban handed down by the IAAF two weeks ago after she had tested positive for the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide at the Jamaica International Invitational held at the National Stadium on May 4 last year after winning the 100m race.

According the WebMD.com, Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent the body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention. Hydrochlorothiazide treats fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney disorders, or edema caused by taking steroids or estrogen. This medication is also used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

According to Bryan, they had always thought any ban would have been "unjustified", as the athlete has always maintained her innocence "from the first day".

On another radio interview yesterday, Bryan questioned the use of any diuretic, stating that it took two attempts in a 45-minute period for her to produce a urine sample.

He told the Observer that while Campbell Brown always suspected the case could have gone all the way to CAS, she was prepared and was confident she would be vindicated.

In June last year, they had issued a release where they defended her saying "Veronica is not a cheat, she has via hard work and dedication accomplished a record on the track which is absolutely remarkable.

There are two things that are unmistakable about Veronica Campbell Brown. On one hand she has had good success on the track, and on the other she has always stood for and carried herself with dignity. That she should now be accused of infringing on anti-doping rules is a shock to her, her loyal supporters and many others in not just sports, but also the other spheres into which she has extended herself to help."

Yesterday, both Campbell Brown and Bryan had high praises for the IAAF, which they said had facilitated a speedy hearing by CAS in what turned out to be less than two weeks after it's final decision, said to be February 10.

"I would be remiss in not thanking the IAAF for expeditiously handing my case to the CAS. My legal and management team will be available to address the media in greater details, as I now focus on moving forward with my career and philanthropic efforts," Campbell Brown said in the release.

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