Jamaica’s most decorated Olympic champion is set to be cleared to compete, five months after failing a drug test.
A Jamaican track and field disciplinary panel issued a warning and no suspension to Veronica Campbell-Brown, 31 and a seven-time Olympic medalist, Wednesday night.
“The disciplinary committee has issued a ruling that Veronica Campbell-Brown has committed an anti-doping violation, contrary to IAAF Rule 32.2a,” the Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association said in a statement. “They have recommended that a reprimand without any period of ineligibility would be appropriate.”
The IAAF has to ratify the recommendation, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. The newspaper reported on Thursday that the ruling was unlikely to be upheld by the IAAF, citing at least two unnamed officials.
IAAF Rule 32.2a outlines what constitutes an anti-doping rule violation. It is 243 words long and can be found in the IAAF rule book here. The Jamaican panel ruled Campbell-Brown did not use the banned substance to enhance her performance.
Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned diuretic on May 4. The positive test was first reported June 14. The drug was reportedly either Lasix (Furosemide) or Hydrochlorothiazide, similar substances that can be used as masking agents for performance-enhancing drugs.
The banned drug came from a cream that Campbell-Brown was using to treat a leg injury and which she had declared on her doping control form, according to Reuters, citing unnamed sources close to Jamaican track and field.
Campbell-Brown was provisionally suspended and has not competed since June. Another Jamaican sprinter, Steve Mullings, tested positive for Furosemide in 2011 and was banned for life. Mullings had tested positive before. This was Campbell-Brown’s first failed test.
Campbell-Brown has not made any public comments since the test came to light and missed the Jamaican National Championships and the World Championships. She was considered a medal contender in the 100 meters, 200 and 4×100 relay.
In June, an IAAF spokesman said Campbell-Brown’s case appeared to be a “lesser” offense of unintentional use. In July, the Times of London reported Campbell-Brown was expected to receive a six-month ban.
The standard ban for positive drug tests is two years, but under a “lesser” offense, just a warning is an option if the athlete can prove he or she ingested the substance without intent to enhance performance.
“Veronica is not a cheat,” read part of a statement sent to media by Campbell-Brown’s agent in June.
She effectively did serve a six-month ban given she sat out all summer competitions, and the next track and field season doesn’t pick up again until 2014.
Campbell-Brown was the first in a series of positive drug tests for sprinters this season that included American record holder Tyson Gay, former world record holder Asafa Powell and 2008 Olympic 100-meter silver medalist Sherone Simpson.
Gay, Powell and Simpson have not received their official suspensions yet but haven’t competed since their positive tests were first reported.