(Reuters) - Embattled Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown’s manager emphatically denied on Tuesday that the twice Olympic 200 metres gold medallist was a drugs cheat.
“That she should now be accused of infringing on anti-doping rules is a shock to her,” Claude Bryan said in a statement after the Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) provisionally suspended the world champion following a positive test for a banned diuretic at a meeting last month.
“Veronica is not a cheat, she has via hard work and dedication accomplished a record on the track which is absolutely remarkable,” Bryan said.
“Her faith which rest not in device or creed will see her through this dark period.”
The JAAA said the Caribbean island’s most successful female athlete had voluntarily withdrawn from competition pending a hearing, adding that she would “vigorously pursue the clearing of her name”.
The 31-year-old Campbell-Brown, the first Jamaican athlete to win a global 100 metres title, tested positive for a diuretic, which can be used to mask the use of performance-enhancing drugs, at the International Invitational World Challenge on May 4.
Sources close to Jamaican athletics told Reuters that the banned drug was contained in a cream which Campbell-Brown was using to treat a leg injury that she had declared on her doping control form.
They said an important factor was whether or not the banned drug appeared on the label of the cream. The World Anti-Doping Agency has a strict liability policy under which athletes are held responsible for any drug found in their body.
“While not accepting guilt of willfully taking a banned substance she wholeheartedly apologizes to her family, Jamaica, her sponsors, the governing body, the world athletics family, her supporters as well as those she worked with in various non-athletic causes for any embarrassment and or hurt this devastating news has caused,” Bryan said.
“She remains an ardent believer in the purity of competition, the beauty of the sport and resolute in the fact that unearned suffering has redemptive qualities.”
Reporting by Gene Cherry, editing by Ed Osmond