Anti-doping panel's delayed decision leaves Briana Williams in limbo

By September 24, 2019

The anti-doping hearing involving Jamaica’s teenage track star Briana Williams concluded on Tuesday without the independent disciplinary panel setting a time or date for their decision, a development that has caused concern for the athlete’s representatives.

The panel, Sportsmax.TV was told, said they would not be constrained by external events, prompting Williams’ representatives to say they might consider an expedited hearing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if the panel does not make a ruling by Thursday this week.

“That was the whole purpose from the start when I said we need an expedited hearing,” said Dr Emir Crowne, the noted sports attorney who is representing the 2018 World U18 100 and 200m champion, who returned an adverse finding for hydrochlorothiazide after competing at the Jamaican National Championships in June.

Despite the failed drug test, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) provisionally listed Williams in its 55-member team to the 2019 IAAF World Championships that gets underway on Friday, September 27 in Doha, Qatar.

Closing arguments at the hearing held at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in Kingston were received on Tuesday afternoon by the panel comprised of Kent Gammon, Dr Marjorie Vassell and Denise Forest. However, they would not commit to a timeline for their decision.

 “I had pressed the panel to give us some kind of time frame for when we can expect at least a short decision, an operative decision,” said Dr Crowne.

“Just tell us what the sanction would be, if any, and then take 20 days or 30 days to give the reasons, but the panel would not commit to that.

“Unfortunately, we are at a spot now where I understand from Dr Blake (President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association, JAAA) that the JAAA needs to know by Thursday about her status in terms of her travelling and entering her on Friday. So, if they don’t know by Thursday then Briana would have to voluntarily withdraw.”

Dr Crowne also revealed that Williams has already agreed that she would voluntarily withdraw if that were what it would take not to jeopardize any medals or results for Jamaica.

Beyond the panel’s reluctance to commit to a speedy ruling, Williams’ legal team also expressed additional concerns about how they conducted the hearing.

Matthew Gayle, another member of Williams’ legal team, claimed that standards applied to evidence they presented were not the same as the ones applied to evidence from the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO).

“I have grave concerns about the way the panel handled the technical and legalistic aspects of the matter and the approach taken by JADCO. The way they handled those matters left me with some concern over the procedural fairness of the proceedings,” Gayle said.

He said the athlete brought documents and experts to explain how the violation occurred but that evidence was not treated fairly.

“They closed their eyes to the evidence to a standard that they did not impose on JADCO, which brings into question the competence of the panel,” said Gayle, who explained that JADCO tried to have excluded evidence that was already in.

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Oshane Thomas recovering from crash, to return to training this week Oshane Thomas recovering from crash, to return to training this week

    Jamaica and West Indies pace bowler Oshane Thomas is said to be home resting as he recovers from mild injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday night, and is expected to return to training later this week.

  • 22 teams to contest 2020 KPMG Squash League 22 teams to contest 2020 KPMG Squash League

    The 21st annual KPMG Squash League will kick off on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, with a jam-packed roster as 22 teams do battle for top honours. 

    The popular handicap tournament will have close to 90 players in action with ages, gender, experience and skill-levels ranging across the spectrum.  The competition’s unique format will ensure that each player is on a level footing with their opponent, which makes for exciting matches and unpredictable outcomes game by game.

    Defending champions, the Adams Family are back in the hunt, fielding the same four-man line-up of Robert Roper, Adam Hugh, Adam Lee and Allan Roper, who got the job done last year.

    Similarly, 2019 runners up, the Power Bolts, have kept their roster intact and the team, which includes four junior national squad players; Aman Dhiman, Savannah Thomson, Mia Todd and Dylan Vaz, is determined to take the title this time around.

    Also in the mix are multiple-time champions, the Milex Eagles whose star-studded slate includes former Caribbean Junior Champions, Larissa and Akelia Wiltshire, former All Jamaica Junior Champion, Tahjia Lumley as well as Shane Slater, an experienced competitor.  In the same vein, 2018 winners, the ‘Cereal’ Killers, another all-juniors team, are also hoping to return to the winner’s circle.

    “The KPMG League is a tournament that the entire squash community looks forward to because the participation cuts across the board and showcases the range of players who compete in the sport,” Chris Hind, President of the Jamaica Squash Association said.

    “We are also pleased that this year we have strong representation from our junior players, and this will sharpen their skills for the national and Caribbean championships that are coming up later this year,” he added.

    Tarun Handa, Managing Partner for KPMG in Jamaica said, “KPMG has supported this tournament for over 20 years and we continue to be impressed by the way the competition brings out a wide cross-section of players and spectators making it a true community event, and this year should be no different.”

    The first phase of the tournament, which will feature a round-robin format is expected to run until the end of March.  The top 8 teams will advance to the knockout stage which will be played in the first half of April.

  • Messi and Liverpool among the big-name nominees at Laureus World Sports Awards Messi and Liverpool among the big-name nominees at Laureus World Sports Awards

    Lionel Messi and Liverpool are among the front-runners for prizes at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday.

    Liverpool are up for two gongs after a wonderful year, as they won the 2018-19 Champions League and took a massive leap towards a first top-flight title in 30 years.

    Jurgen Klopp's side look set to break a host of records this season, as they have dropped points in just one of their 25 matches and hold a remarkable 22-point lead over defending champions Manchester City in second.

    The Reds are in the running for two prizes in the Laureus Sports Awards' 20th anniversary gala – World Team of the Year and Comeback of the Year, the latter on account of their astonishing Champions League semi-final turnaround at the expense of Barcelona.

    Among those challenging Liverpool for the former are the United States' Women's football team and the Toronto Raptors, who became the first Canadian franchise win an NBA championship.

    A selection of sporting superstars are up for the Sportsman of the Year award, with Barcelona and Argentina icon Lionel Messi among them following his record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or.

    Also in the running is Eliud Kipchoge after the Kenyan became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours last October, covering the 26.2 miles in one hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds in Vienna.

    Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Megan Rapinoe is among those in the hunt for the Sportswoman of the Year gong, although gymnast Simone Biles also has a compelling case.

    The 22-year-old last year won five gold medals at the World Championships to become the most decorated gymnast in the event's history, and has won this award twice before, in 2019 and 2017.

    The event will take place at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin on Monday. Below is a complete list of the awards up for grabs and the athletes nominated.

    Sportsman of the Year

    Eliud Kipchoge – Athletics
    Lewis Hamilton – Formula One
    Lionel Messi – Football
    Marc Marquez – MotoGP
    Rafael Nadal – Tennis
    Tiger Woods – Golf

    Sportswoman of the Year

    Allyson Felix – Athletics
    Megan Rapinoe – Football
    Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing
    Naomi Osaka – Tennis
    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Athletics
    Simone Biles – Gymnastics

     

    Team of the Year

    Liverpool – Football
    Mercedes-AMG – Formula One
    South Africa – Rugby Union
    Spain – Basketball
    Toronto Raptors – Basketball
    United States Women – Football

    Breakthrough of the Year

    Andy Ruiz – Boxing
    Bianca Andreescu – Tennis
    Coco Gauff – Tennis
    Egan Bernal – Cycling
    Japan – Rugby Union
    Regan Smith – Swimming

     

    Comeback of the Year

    Andy Murray – Tennis
    Christian Lealiifano – Rugby Union
    Kawhi Leonard – Basketball
    Liverpool – Football
    Nathan Adrian – Swimming
    Sophia Florsch – Formula Three

    Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

    Alice Tai – Swimming
    Diede de Groot – Wheelchair Tennis
    Jetze Plat – Triathlon
    Manuela Schar – Wheelchair Racing
    Oksana Masters – Cross Country Skiing
    Omara Durand – Athletics

     

    Action Sportsperson of the year

    Carissa Moore – Surfing
    Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
    Italo Ferreira – Surfing
    Mark McMorris – Snowboarding
    Nyjah Huston – Skateboarding
    Rayssa Leal – Skateboarding

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.