Jamaican sprinter loses appeal against life ban

Jamaican sprinter Steve Mullings has lost his appeal against a lifetime ban from athletics, according to an announcement by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Mullings appealed against a lifetime ban from athletics, imposed in November 2011 for a second doping offense after the 30-year-old who won a gold medal in the 4×100 meter relay at the 2009 world championships in Berlin, tested positive for testosterone in 2004 and for the banned diuretic furosemide in 2011. It was argued by the sprinter that there were problems with the 2004 positive test meaning it should not be counted as a first sanction for a doping offense but CAS rejected his arguments. Mullings went on to claim that the laboratory results of the 2011 test were unreliable and that the disciplinary proceedings were flawed.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said proceedings were delayed as it collected evidence from both tests and disclosed that the CAS panel considered that the athlete had not presented any basis to challenge the testing procedure of the 2011 sample and the CAS panel did not find that the circumstances surrounding the first offense warranted a more lenient sanction while Mullings has attempted to raise suspicion about his first violation.

Mullings was sanctioned with a suspension of two years following a positive anti-doping control (methyltestoterone) in 2004. He provided an in-competition sample in June 2011 at the National Senior Championships in Jamaica which was tested at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Quebec, Canada, and which returned an adverse analytical finding for the presence of Furosemide, the prohibited substance. After this, disciplinary proceedings were opened by the Jamaican anti-doping authorities against Steve Mullings that resulted in a decision to suspend him for life for a second anti-doping offense. The athlete appealed  to the CAS on 19 December 2011 to request the annulment of the decision made by the JADCO Disciplinary Panel.

The case was handled by a CAS Panel composed of Mr David W. Rivkin, President (USA), Mr Christopher L. Campbell (USA), and Prof. Richard H. McLaren (Canada) who considered that Mullings had not presented any basis to challenge the testing procedure of the 2011 sample and the CAS panel did not find that the circumstances surrounding the first offense did warrant a lenient sanction while Mullings has attempted to raise suspicion about the first violation, and accordingly, it confirmed the lifetime ban.

The former sprint athlete who specialized in the 100 and 200 meter events began his international athletic career with a bronze medal win in the 100 m at the Pan American Junior Championships. Steve Mullings made his first impact in senior athletics at the 2004 national championship, setting new bests of 10.04 and 20.22 in the sprints, and finishing as the 200 m national champion. After being banned from competition for two years for testing positive for testosterone, the sprinter returned to competition in 2006 and competed at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics as a heats runner for the Jamaican silver medal-winning 4Ă—100 meters relay team.

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