Jamaican Athletes Face Bans For Alleged Doping

@Dominique Blake, 4x400m relay star, and Ricardo Cunningham, national 800m senior champion, would be facing the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) on October 17 over doping violations returned by the pair at Jamaica’s senior championships in June.

Cunningham tested positive for pseudoephedrine and the substance found in the sample of Blake was not named, according to the Jamaica Observer.

Blake, who has previously served a nine-month ban for testing tested positive for ephedrine at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 24, 2006, sent a representative and Cunningham appeared in person at the initial hearing in Kingston on October 2, 2012. The 25-year-old Blake represented Jamaica at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Turkey in March, where she qualified for the semi-finals of the 400m and also competed at the CAC Games and Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Blake, who finished sixth in the Women’s 400m final in 51.83 seconds, as a relay alternate but did not compete and criticized her omission from the preliminary rounds of the women’s mile relay on August 10 on team politics. Blake, the 2008 NCAA national champion and 2012 World Indoor semi-finalist in 400 m (Istanbul, Turkey), competed on the European circuit from July-August 2008 and was the Hampton Games 2010 silver medalist. She is also a three-time Penn State record holder, Big Ten championship record holder, and six-time Big Ten champion, besides being a seven-time NCCA Championship participant. At the 2006 national outdoors, Blake was a member of the fifth-place mile relay team at the NCAA East Regional Championships that clocked a school-record 3:34.92. At the Big Ten Championships (2007 indoors), Dominique Blake was a member of the gold-medal winning 4×400-meter relay for the second-straight year that set a new conference record (3:37.70).

Cunningham declared that he had taken an over-the-counter medication that may have contained pseudoephedrine, a substance found in most cold medicines. Recently, Cunningham won the men’s 800m final with a time of 1:48.00 seconds at the JAAA/SVL Jamaica Senior National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston wherein Aldwyn Sappleton finished second in 1:48.43 seconds, while Darryll Oliver was 3rd in 1:48.98 seconds.

Cunningham recorded a personal- and season best-time of 1:49.99 in the 800-meters to finish in the top 15 at Tennessee’s Sea Ray Relays at 2003 Outdoor and posted a season-best time of 3:09.26 to finish third in the IC4As in the 800. Named Sophomore of the Year in 2002, Cunningham was the bronze medalist in the 800 meters at the 1999 Carifta Games. Hraduated from Vere Technical High School in 2000 and from SW Christian Community College in 2002 and competed in soccer for three years at Vere Technical High School in Jamaica.

Just before the Beijing Olympics in 2008, sprinter Julien Dunkley tested positive. In 2009, 200m specialist and 2001 World Championships silver medalist Christopher Williams returned a positive finding at a meet in Europe and was banned for two years. Five athletes returned positive tests after consuming a sport drink during Trials in 2011. The five — Yohan Blake, Allodin Fothergill, Sheri-Ann Brooks, Marvin Anderson, and Lanceford Spence — were all banned for a period of three months. Last November, former Jamaican relay world champion Steve Mullings was given a lifetime ban from competing in athletics after a second doping offence.

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