What does this mean? For now, only one thing. Veronica Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned substance, found in her system at the Jamaican International Invitational meeting in Kingston on 4 May. It doesn’t mean that Usain Bolt or Yohan Blake or any other Jamaican athlete as well are guilty, but it’s an issue that comes with a huge warning and worrying sign.
The 3-time Olympic gold medalist, winning a Silver and a Bronze in London games, was found positive for the masking agent furosemide, which could lead to a two-year ban. She was present at the World Anti-Doping Agency headquarters in Montreal, shown the results of her B sample.
Furesomide, taken to promote the production of urine and help high blood pressure and used in the treatment of congestive heart failure, is known as a masking agent because it can hide traces of other illicit substances in a person’s body that boost performance.
Is there a way out for Campbell-Brown from this one? Hard to say. She’ll need to convince WADA that there were extraordinary circumstances involved in her consuming the illegal substance, although the hard-line policy of strict liability doesn’t usually provide ignorance with equal leniancy. She’s already cancelled a track meet in Edmonton on June 29 she was supposed to compete in, and defending her world title in 200 meters might also be dropped.
Before the 2009 World Championships, Blake (along with Marvin Anderson and Sheri-Ann Brooks) tested positive for the stimulant 4-Methyl-2-hexanamine. the drug was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list, but was similar in structure to the banned substance tuaminoheptane, resulting in a three-month ban for the 2011 100 meters World Champion.
Bolt? He’s clean for now, but every time something like this happens, every amazing results is put even further in doubt. Lets hope that Campbell-Brown isn’t the beginning of another doping epidemic about to be revealed, and that the sport is actually cleaner than it seems to be at the moment.