Jamaican runners admit to doping

(BBC) – The World Championships was a good meet for Jamaica.

Runners and athletes from the country ran away with numerous medals and achievements.

From world-record times to dominant showings the country solidified its place as the premier force in the world of track and field.

However there is a dark cloud over the country and its athletes as drug use among some of its runners has been confirmed.

Four Jamaican athletes have admitted to taking a banned substance.

The four are Yohan Blake and Marvin Anderson, who train with triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt, as well as Allodin Fothergill and Lansford Spence.

“The athletes have admitted they took a banned substance,” said Jamaican Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal (Jadco) chairman Ransford Langrin.

“We have to decide what is the sanction we apply – the minimum sanction is a reprimand or up to a two-year ban.”

Relay runners Blake, Fothergill, Spence and Anderson as well as Sheri-Ann Brooks were withdrawn by Jamaica from the World Championships in Berlin last month.

They tested positive for methylxanthine at Jamaica’s championships in June, but were initially cleared by a disciplinary panel on the basis it was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) banned list.

But Jadco then appealed against the verdict stating the substance had a similar structure to tuaminoheptane, a banned stimulant according to Wada.

Brooks, the Commonwealth 100m champion, was cleared in August on a technicality because Jadco tested her B sample without her knowledge.

Lincoln Eatmon, a member of the athletes’ legal team, added: “We have no control over what World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) or the the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) might do.

“Even if the athletes are found not guilty, the prospect of them facing a lengthy, expensive battle to go to arbitration on all that, it was felt that we should try to resolve the thing as amicably as possible.”

Blake is one of the bigger names caught up in the doping controversy. He won bronze in the 100m at the world junior championships in 2006.

In addition to being training partner for Bolt, Blake has recorded the fifth-fastest time in the 100m event this year.

Anderson is also a 100m runner while Fothergill and Spence compete in the 400m.

Jadco is due to announce its punishment for the four athletes on 14 September.