KINGSTON (Reuters) - Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer, the 2014 Commonwealth Games 400 metres hurdles champion, was on Tuesday cleared of an anti-doping rule violation by an independent disciplinary panel.
The decision means Spencer, who faced a four-year ban on charges that she refused or evaded a drug test on April 27 2016 at her training base, can resume competing immediately.
“The independent anti-doping disciplinary panel is not persuaded to the standard of proof on the evidence presented that the athlete, Ms. Spencer, evaded a sample collection pursuant to article 2.3 of the 2015 Anti-Doping Rules,” the written decision of the panel read.
“In the circumstances the athlete did not commit an anti-doping violation to article 2.3 and thus no sanction can be imposed by the The independent anti-doping disciplinary panel on said athlete, Miss Kaliese Spencer,” the three member panel ruled.
The panel decided that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission(JADCO), who brought the charges, could not prove that 30-year-old Spencer had been properly notified under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules that she was required for testing.
The decision means the 2009 world championship 4x400m relay silver medallist can compete in Jamaica’s National Senior Championship (June 22-25), which will be used to select the Caribbean island’s team for the Aug. 4-13 worlds in London.
Spencer, who was represented by American Paul Greene, had denied the charges. The panel awarded Spencer costs.
“I‘m elated for Kaliese. This has been a very trying three months for her,” Greene told Reuters via telephone.
“In my opinion the case should have never been brought, the provisional suspension should have never have imposed because there was no evidence she did anything wrong and the decision vindicated her today, and proved to Jamaica that Kaliese is innocent and never did anything wrong,” he added.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that they (JADCO) actually brought this case... and hopefully next time they’ll think twice before bringing a case without evidence,” he added.
Editing by Ken Ferris