London: Veronica Campbell-Brown, the Jamaican sprinter, has been cleared to resume her career by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after successfully appealing against a two-year ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Campbell-Brown, 31 and who won 200-metre gold at the Athens and Beijing Olympics, escaped with a reprimand from Jamaica’s national federation last year following a positive test for a banned diuretic. However, the IAAF secretly banned her this month a decision that has been overturned by a CAS arbitration meeting.
The news means that Campbell-Brown will be free to compete at the World Indoor Championships in Poland next month.
“I can confirm that Veronica Campbell-Brown has been cleared by CAS,” her US-based lawyer, Howard Jacobs, said. “All of her past results have been reinstated and she is free to compete, effective immediately,” he said,
CAS did not comment on the decision, but Jacobs said that faults in the way Campbell-Brown’s urine sample was taken had led to its decision. “Because the CAS hearing was completed on an extremely expedited basis, the full reasons for the award have not yet been issued, and may not be issued for a few months,” he said.
“However, it is clear that the reason for the decision was a serious and fundamental breakdown in the manner in which Veronica Campbell-Brown’s urine sample was collected and handled in Jamaica on 4 May 2013. The integrity of the sample was not maintained and the results of any testing on that sample were therefore unreliable.”
Jacobs said that CAS had ordered the Jamaican Athletics Administration Association to pay a portion of Campbell-Brown’s costs in connection with the appeal. In a statement, Campbell-Brown said: “I harbour too much self-respect and a similar respect for the purity of competition to resort to illegal means to success. This same self-respect will now enable me to leave behind the insensitive and ill-informed media remarks and look towards returning to the track to give of my best.”
The IAAF refused to discuss the case but said in a statement: “The IAAF was made aware earlier today of the CAS judgment, but has not received the full reasoned decision and therefore will not make any comments about the decision at this stage. We can, however, confirm that Veronica Campbell-Brown is now free to compete.”
Campbell-Brown added: “Yes, I lost out on the opportunity to compete for most of 2013 and the chance to defend my World 200-metre title, however, I press on. Dr Martin Luther King Jr spoke of the redemptive quality of unearned suffering and I must say I am redeemed.
“I wish to specially mention my dear husband and coach Omar, my parents, Omar’s grandparents and my siblings for standing by me when I needed their strength. Thanks of course to my legal team … Their varying degree of expertise was invaluable to me during the journey to clear my name. To my management … your unwavering support was important as well. I would also like to thanks my prayer team of Pastor Maison and his wife … all the churches that has being praying for me. To my main sponsor adidas I also say thanks.
“I would be remiss in not thanking the IAAF for expeditiously handing my case to the Cas.”