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Athletics | International

Dominique Blake © Reuters

Dominique Blake gets six-year doping ban



Dominique Blake, a 400-metre runner who earned a relay berth for Jamaica at the London Olympics, was issued a six-year doping ban on Thursday by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel.

Blake tested positive for the banned substance methylhexanamine at last year's Jamaican Olympic Athletics Trials and began serving her ban on Thursday after the board handed down its ruling.

She had been a women's 4x400 relay alternate at the London Olympics but did not compete for Jamaica, which took a bronze medal.

Ken Pantry, chairman of the panel, said that after hearing her arguments, the panel "unanimously decided Miss Blake did not satisfy the panel to its comfortable satisfaction that the substance entered her body without an intention to enhance sporting performance."

Accordingly, Pantry said, "we decided that the sanction of ineligibility would be six years commencing today."

Blake was sixth in the women's 400 in 51.83 seconds at the Jamaican Olympic trials in the meet where she tested positive. She had also competed for her homeland at the Commonwealth Games and last year's World Indoor Championships.

Patrick Foster, Blake's attorney, said Blake will probably appeal the ban.

"I am not surprised by the sanction that was imposed but I am disappointed," Foster said. "It's clear to me that they didn't take into account crucial issues.

"I think we had sufficient evidence, to at least, justify a penalty far less than six years."

Ricardo Cunningham, an 800m runner who tested positive for the prohibited substance pseudo-ephedrine at last year's Olympic trials, escaped with only a reprimand.

Cunningham won the Jamaican 800 crown in 1:48.00 last June but was not on the London squad after missing the Olympic standard.



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