Jun 21, 2013 Sports
Jamaica Observer – The absence of defending World Championships 200m gold medallist Veronica Campbell Brown from Jamaica’s team to the biennial meet in Moscow, Russia, could affect the quality of medals to be won by Jamaica, says national senior team head coach Maurice Wilson.
Her absence, he also said, would weaken the 4x100m relay team. “Veronica Campbell Brown has medalled in almost every senior championships she has been to and her absence from the Jamaican team could affect the quality of the medals we could win,” Wilson told the Jamaica Observer Wednesday, on the eve of the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships.
On Tuesday the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)
announced that Campbell Brown had “voluntarily withdrawn herself from competition and accepted the provisional suspension” after she was identified as having returned a positive test for a banned substance at the Jamaica International Invitational meeting held at the National Stadium in early May.
Without the multiple medal-winning Campbell Brown, who attended her first Olympic Games in 2000 as an 18-year-old Vere Technical schoolgirl Wilson said it would prove even more difficult to go up against arch-rivals the United States in the 4x100m relays.
In their most recent meeting the Jamaican team ran a National Record 41.41 seconds but finished second to the USA that ran a World Record 40.82 seconds.
Wilson, who was in charge of the Jamaican teams to the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea and the Olympic Games in London last year, said he was confident that the level of professionalism in the team would drive others to lift their standards.
“I do believe we have lots of professionalism in the team, and while we will miss Veronica’s experience and leadership qualities, we have others who we are confident will give of their best.”
Meanwhile, the IAAF Wednesday described her doping violation as ‘minor’.
Nick Davies, deputy general secretary of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), was quoted in online articles as confirming the adverse analytical finding in Campbell Brown’s sample that was taken at the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) in May, but asked for caution in how people react to and perceive the information.
“We can acknowledge that there is a case, but also take the opportunity to urge a sense of perspective… this seems, from evidence, to be a minor doping offence, according to our rules, so we want to remain realistic in our reaction, pending the conclusion of the case,” Davies was reported as saying.
Davies later confirmed to the Jamaica Observer that he had given an interview to a news agency and the quotes were in fact correct.
The IAAF’s declaration and earlier information reaching the Jamaica Observer that the two-time World Indoor 60m champion had declared the substance on her medical declaration form after winning the 100m at the JII meet, is expected to go a far way in lessening whatever punishment that would have been issued when she faces the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Disciplinary Committee.
On Tuesday, six days after news broke that the 31-year-old — who has won 16 medals at the Olympic and World Championships levels — had tested positive, the JAAA issued a release that the Florida-based runner “voluntarily withdrew herself from competition and accepted the provisional suspension”.
Later, on Tuesday, Campbell Brown’s management team, headed by Claude Bryan, broke their silence with a release defending her integrity, saying in part: “Veronica is not a cheat, she has, via hard work and dedication, accomplished a record on the track which is absolutely remarkable.”
Well-placed sources had told the Observer last weekend that “no serious drugs were involved; No PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) were involved…”
The source also said that Campbell Brown had declared the substance she had used on her medical declaration form, but said no prior Therapeutic Use Exemption had been submitted, which would have allowed her to use certain banned substances for medical reasons.
The suspension effectively rules her out of competing at this weekend’s JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships and the IAAF World Championships later this year in Moscow, Russia.
Campbell Brown won the 200m at the 2011 World Championships held in Daegu, South Korea, and would have had an automatic entry this year as the defending champion.
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