Williams drug case set for Sept 23-25

...ruled out of Doha World Championships

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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JAMAICA'S Under-20 World double sprint champion Briana Williams' dream of participating at the IAAF Doha World Championships appears doomed as her anti-doping case has been set for September 23, 24 and 25.

The World Championships are set to begin two days later, on Friday, September 27, with the first round of the women's 100m slated for Saturday, September 28.

With the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) set to announce the team for Doha at a press conference today, President Dr Warren Blake reluctantly told the Jamaica Observer that Williams' chances of selection are slim.

“It makes it very difficult to select her, but we will address that tomorrow (today),” he said.

Williams' coac,h Ato Boldon, said, “No comment until after the hearing,” when contacted.

The Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel chaired by attorney Kent Gammon, and including Dr Majorie Vassell and Denise Forrest, convened for a preliminary hearing yesterday at Jamaica Pegasus hotel with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) and Briana Williams' representatives.

The Florida-based Williams and her representative Dr Emir Crowne are overseas, but he spoke via Skype. They were represented by local attorneys Xavier Leveridge and Kristie Irving at the scheduled 10:00 am hearing that started about 45 minutes late, but ended by 11:35 am.

“We have set the hearing dates for the 23rd, 24th and 25th of September, and at that time we will take the evidence and make our determination accordingly,” said Gammon.

When quizzed about the dates, which basically rule out young Williams from the World Championships, Gammon responded:

“I don't make comments on those kind of matters. My job is to make our findings based on the adverse findings brought to our attention, and we can't comment on any other matter.

“We had a smooth process today and we are ready to proceed on the 23rd. There were no issues with the dates,” Gammon added.

Williams ran a personal best of 10.94 seconds while finishing third at the Jamaica National Championships and qualified for the 100m at the World Championships in Doha, but later failed a drug test by way of the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.

The 17-year-old, who is based in Florida, is said to have declared taking a cold medicine, Pharma Cold and Flu, which had been administered to her by her mother, Sharon Simpson. Her camp has claimed that the over-the-counter pills were contaminated with elements of the diuretic. If found guilty Williams could face a maximum ban of four years.

Born in America, Williams is the world age-15 record holder, the world youth (under-18) and age-17 record holder, and the Jamaican junior (under-20) record holder in the women's 100 metres.

She earned gold medals in the 100 metres, the 200 metres, and the 4100 metres relay at the 2018 Carifta Games in the Under-17 category, setting championship records in the 100 metres and 4100 metres relay, earning her the Games' Austin Sealy award.

Later that year she became the youngest girl ever to win both the 100 metres and the 200 metres at the 2018 IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland and for her athletics achievements in 2018 she was nominated for the IAAF Female Rising Star and the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year awards.

At the 2019 Carifta Games Williams again tripled in the 100m, 200m, and 4100m relay to win three gold medals in the Under-20 category and was the first Jamaican to earn the Games' Austin Sealy award two years in a row since Usain Bolt in 2004.


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