Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Irish 200m sprinter, Stephen Colvert, has been issued with a two-year ban by Athletics Ireland and the Irish Sports Council, following a positive test for recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO). Colvert was banned for two years from 17 June 2014, the date of his provisional suspension following a 20 May out of competition test. He will have 21 days in which to launch an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which Colvert indicated is likely.
‘In an out of competition test carried out on 20th May 2014, he provided a sample which tested positive for the presence of a prohibited substance, recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO)’, read a statement issued yesterday. Colvert has consistently denied taking EPO.
In the full decision, he argues both that both the A and B samples could have been incorrectly analysed, or that the samples were not his. He also argues that the hematocrit levels in his blood sample were at the upper limit of what is considered normal, and do not therefore automatically indicate EPO use. The Panel said that it was comfortably satisfied that the hematocit levels did indicate EPO use, and that the samples had been correctly analysed.
‘Today is a sad day’, said Colvert on Twitter. ‘After spending the last year trying to clear my name of the doping allegations, a decision had been made. Unfortunately, the panel has found me guilty of doping. Something I have always been strongly against and something I will continue to stand against. Miscarriages of justice come in many forms. Unfortunately, this time, it has involved me. I will be returning to the sport […] with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I have never doped […] I have not given up on this fight and will continue my efforts to clear my name.’
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