By Kayon Raynor
KINGSTON (Reuters) – Jamaica’s world under-20 double sprint gold medallist Briana Williams has tested positive for a banned diuretic, her lawyer has told Reuters, potentially ruling her out of the world athletics championships in Doha.
Williams has denied any wrongdoing and her Canada-based lawyer Emir Crowne said the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) appeared to have been in an over-the-counter cold remedy she had purchased.
She had also declared the medication on her doping control form, he said.
“I can confirm that we have an independent test on an over-the-counter cold medication that the athlete took (that) confirmed the presence of a diuretic,” Crowne said.
“The diuretic was not listed among the ingredients in that cold medicine that the athlete took.
“It is genuinely a case where I would suggest no fault at all for a situation that was beyond her control, and beyond anyone’s control really.”
Alexander Williams, who chairs the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission, declined to comment.
Both of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples were tested at the WADA accredited lab in Montreal.
HCTZ is banned because it can to mask the use of anabolic steroids. It is normally used to treat high blood pressure.
The 17-year-old Williams clocked a yet-to-be-ratified national junior record of 10.94 seconds to place third in the 100m final at the national senior trials in June but could now miss selection for the world championships in Doha.
The Jamaican team for the Sept. 27-Oct. 6 championships will be named on Sept. 6.
Under the World Anti-doping Agency and IAAF rules, Williams is facing the possibility of a maximum ban of four years if found guilty.
Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, told Reuters he hoped it would not come to that.
“Based on what we have heard, we expect that a suitable explanation will be given,” he said.
“The explanation and the (independent) test that has been done seem that they might, in my opinion, exonerate the athlete.”
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)