KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) - Mistakes made by Jamaican officials during anti-doping procedures, not technicalities, led to double Olympic 200 meters champion Veronica Campbell-Brown being cleared of doping charges, her lawyers said on Friday.
The errors included the failure to properly seal one of Campbell-Brown’s partial urine samples and resulted in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling in favor of her appeal of a two-year ban, attorney Howard Jacobs told a news conference.
“Even though the (Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission) doping control officers were supposed to seal the first partial sample, so that it couldn’t be tampered with, and so that it would be evident if someone tampered with it during the rest of the collection process, there was no seal used in this case,” Jacobs said.
“So it’s not a technicality, it’s a fundamental point in anti-doping matters,” he added.
Carey Brown, JADCO’s executive director since October, declined to comment when asked about Jacobs’ remarks.
Former Jamaican Prime Minister Percival James Patterson, another member of Campbell-Brown’s legal team, said the mistakes seriously affected the anti-doping process.
“Once there are errors and violations in collecting the urine sample, there could be nothing for a proper examination by the lab in Montreal of neither the A or B samples,” Patterson said.
Campbell-Brown, as she has throughout the process, denied on Friday she had cheated.
“I’ve never used drugs in my career and will never use it and I hope the Jamaican people will still embrace me,” the seven-time Olympic medalist said.
The Jamaican sprinter returned a positive test for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide at the Jamaica International Invitational meeting in Kingston on May 4 and in October was given a public reprimand by a Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) disciplinary panel.
But after a doping review board of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) recommended a two-year doping ban, the Jamaican panel put the suspension in place in February.
Campbell-Brown appealed the ban, her lawyers arguing that international standards were violated during her sample collection, thus compromising the integrity of the samples.
CAS agreed, freeing her to return to competition at last weekend’s IAAF world indoor championships, where the two times world 60 meters champion finished fifth.
Editing by Gene Cherry