"I will not be tendering apology" to JADCO - Dr Emir Crowne

By October 04, 2019

Noted sports attorney Dr. Emir Crowne will not be apologizing to the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) for comments he made about the commission in the days leading up to the anti-doping hearing involving Jamaican sprinter Briana Williams.

Dr Crowne said he was well within the law with his comments and that the threat of legal action from JADCO was an effort to distract and confuse him.

In the days leading up the hearing, Dr Crowne had expressed his concerns about information leaked to the media about Williams’ ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples before him, or the athlete he represented, had received that information.

 In an article published in the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday, August 28, Dr Crowne articulated those concerns saying, “There was a need for public scrutiny as to how JADCO maintains its results process.”

In response, attorneys representing JADCO said Dr Crowne made “a clear inference or implication that JADCO leaked the results of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples of Briana Williams…”

In a letter dated September 3, 2019, JADCO demanded an apology and threatened the initiation of legal action, should Dr Crowne fail to issue a former apology by September 6?

A month later, on October 3, JADCO’s attorneys, in a letter to Dr Crowne, extended the deadline to Friday, October 4.

However, in a strongly worded reply on Friday, Dr Crowne declared that he has no intention of apologizing.

“Putting aside the technicalities and theatrics that have unfortunately dominated this matter, I will not be tendering an apology,” Dr Crowne said.

In his letter, the attorney, who has represented several Jamaican athletes before disciplinary panels, outlined that he found the initial letter sent by JADCO’s attorneys “rather unsavoury and curiously timed given my representation of an athlete before the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, wherein JADCO appeared as the complainant and the athlete appeared as the respondent.

“Put simply, it was a collateral attack. It was designed to distract and confuse; to no avail, unfortunately.”

He explained in the letter that replied to one of JADCO’s attorneys on September 11 requesting that JADCO stay their hand until October 2. He argued that since the hearing dates for Briana Williams had only recently been set, he would need the time to provide a “fulsome response.”

The attorney, Dr Crowne indicated, replied saying “We will revert to you after discussing your email with our client.”

Dr Crowne said no one reverted to him.

In direct reference to his comments published in the Jamaica Observer, Dr Crowne said every defence at law is available to him in the matter.

Citing absolute privilege Dr Crowne said the comments were made in the course of proceedings against the athlete and were privileged absolutely. The comments were made on an occasion where the public had a right to know how a public body – like JADCO – was operating and are protected by qualified privilege.

He also asserts that the comments were fair comment as they were made honestly and sincerely and there was no malice, “merely a genuine concern for the manner in which JADCO may have handled the matter.”

Dr Crowne also insists that there is truth to the comments made and that JADCO was indirectly forcing him to disclose the “journalists in question who may have a source within JADCO and he will not, under any circumstance, be used to breach source privilege.

The matter has reportedly reached the desk of Jamaican sports minister Olivia Grange.

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.

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