‘I AM STUNNED!’
Olympic Games medallist and Commonwealth Games champion Ronald Levy has vowed to defend his integrity after he returned a positive test for a banned substance which showed up in an out-of-competition test he did early in October.
While expressing surprise at his failed drug test, the first of his career, the 31-year-old who faces a ban from competition if his B sample also comes back positive, insisted in a social media post on Friday that he would never “seek to gain an unfair advantage”.
News broke early Friday morning that a Jamaican male sprint hurdler had returned an adverse analytical finding and in an unprecedented move for a Jamaican athlete, Levy broke his silence hours later with a post on social media saying: “Out of respect for the process, I will not comment further until the process is concluded.”
The athlete, who last represented Jamaica at the World Indoor Championships in Serbia in March 2022, but picked up an injury in the first round of the men’s 60m hurdles, posted on his Instagram account that after having undergone an out-of-season test in October, he was expecting that it would “be negative…like every test I have taken throughout my career”.
He expressed “surprise to have received a letter” on Tuesday, November 2 from the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission (JADCo) of an adverse analytical finding. “I have decided to take the option to have my B-sample tested, of which I await the results,” his social media comment continued.
Levy, who has a personal best of 13.05 seconds set in 2017, making him the fourth fastest Jamaican ever in the event, added in his post: “I am stunned at the turn of events, because I have always conducted myself with the highest level of integrity in the sport, which I love dearly and world never seek to gain an unfair advantage.”
The bronze medal winner at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, after winning the gold at the 2019 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, said, “[I] intend to defend my integrity during the process because I am certain I did not knowingly breach the rules”.
While the substance was not identified, it is understood that it accelerates the reduction of triglycerides, the most common form of fat in the body.
When contacted earlier in the day by the Observer, Garth Gayle, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), had confirmed reports of the positive test, but refused to add anything other than the confirmation.
“The case is being managed and the necessary protocols are being observed,” said the athletics boss.