Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown says she has been cleared to return to the sport by the world sports court some 10 months after returning a positive test at an island meet.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has “confirmed my innocence” and she intends to focus on advancing her career, including regaining her world 200-metre title next year, Campbell-Brown said in a Monday statement.
The three-time Olympic gold medallist said the past few months had brought much pain and suffering, including “insensitive and ill-informed media remarks”, but her faith, family, friends and fans helped her cope.
“I harbour too much self-respect and a similar respect for the purity of competition to resort to illegal means to success.”
The 31-year-old athlete has seven Olympic medals, including the 2004 and 2008 gold in the 200m. She also won gold in the 4×100 relay in Athens. In London, she won bronze in the 100 and silver as part of the 4×100 relay team.
She returned a positive test for a banned diuretic from the Jamaica International Invitational in May.
In June, her manager issued a statement saying she was determined to clear her name. She apologised to her fans, sponsors and others for any embarrassment or hurt the “devastating news has caused”. She was suspended while a disciplinary panel reviewed the case and missed the Jamaican nationals and world championships in Moscow.
Howard Jacobs, one of her lawyers, said the CAS hearing was done on an extremely expedited basis and they were yet to receive the full ruling.
“However, it is clear that the reason for the decision was a serious and fundamental breakdown in the manner in which (her) urine sample was collected and handled in Jamaica on May 4, 2013, such that the integrity of the sample was not maintained and the results of any testing on that sample were therefore unreliable,” the California-based sports lawyer said on Monday.
Jacobs said CAS ordered the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association to pay a portion of the athlete’s legal costs.
A few weeks after Campbell-Brown’s positive test, Jamaican stars Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson also tested positive for a banned stimulant. A Jamaican disciplinary panel has not concluded their hearings.
Campbell-Brown intends competing at the world indoor championships next month in Poland, according to Jacobs.