Briana thanks supporters

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Teenaged Jamaican sprinter Briana Williams has expressed relief and gratitude after what she described as a very emotional summer while announcing her withdrawal from the Jamaican team taking part in the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.

On Thursday evening her Coach Ato Boldon told the Jamaica Observer she would not be travelling to Doha, after the Jamaican track officials had replaced her with Jonelle Smith, who would join Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the women's 100m that starts today.

Williams had escaped a competition ban earlier on Thursday when the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (IADP) gave her a public reprimand but no ban from competition after she was found to have breached Article 2.1 of the 2015 Anti-Doping Rules, having tested positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).

She returned the positive result after placing third in the women's 100m final at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association National Championships at National Stadium on June 21 in 10.94 seconds.

In a statement posted on her social media platform Instagram late Thursday, 17-year-old Williams said: “I have decided to forgo competing at the World Championships considering the long trip to Doha and that the team has already started training for the relays.”

The IAAF World Under-20 Championship double-sprint champion from Finland 2018, added: “I am just relieved and thankful after what has been a very emotional summer. I would like to once again express my gratitude to everyone right across Jamaica who reached out to show support.” And she expressed hope for next year, “I look forward to returning to the track for the 2020 season.”

It is understood that the national junior record holder in both the 100m and 200m could still travel to the Middle Eastern country, in the role of a fan. “Hopefully I still have a chance to make the trip to Doha to watch Jamaica compete. I would like to wish all our athletes and coaches the very best. #LetsGetIt #TeamJamaica #OneLove.”

—Paul Reid