Kingston Veronica Campbell-Brown, the triple Olympic gold-medal winning sprinter, has been allowed to return to competition, despite a positive drugs test.
A Jamaican disciplinary panel has given the 31-year-old a public warning, five months after she returned the positive test.
Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned diuretic at the Jamaica International Invitational meeting in May. She was suspended from competition while the disciplinary committee reviewed the case, missing Jamaica’s national championships and so the World Championships in Moscow this summer.
The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association said that its disciplinary committee “recommended that a reprimand without any period of ineligibility would be appropriate.” It ruled that Campbell-Brown “committed an anti-doping violation” but did not use the banned substance for performance enhancement.
The full text of the ruling by a former judge, an attorney and the head of the island’s medical association was not publicly released. Campbell-Brown was represented by P.J. Patterson, the country’s former Prime Minister.
The sprinter became the first female from the Caribbean to win an Olympic sprint title when she took gold in the 200m in Athens in 2004 and she also won a gold medal in the 400m relay. She retained the title in Beijing four years later, and is also a former world champion in 100m and 200m.
The positive test was bad news for Jamaican sprinting, which has suffered from a number of positive tests for its athletes lately, including those for Asafa Powell, the former 100m world record holder, and Sherone Simpson. Neither was able to compete in Moscow.
The substance for which Campbell-Brown tested positive was furosemeide, which also goes by the name of Lasix. It is on Wada’s banned list because it can be used as a masking agent to conceal performance-enhancing drugs. However, the diuretic is classified by Wada as a “specified substance”, which allows for a reduced sanction if an athlete can prove that it was not ingested with the intention to cheat.
In June, Campbell-Brown’s agent, Claude Bryan issued a statement saying that the accusation came as a shock and that his client was determined to clear her name. She has made no statement since then, and Bryan was also unavailable for comment on Thursday.