LaTasha Jenkins free to compete
CHICAGO (USA): Chicago Tribune informs that US sprinter LaTasha Jenkins is free to compete. She is the first athlete whose appeal against USADA was successful. This current case started in 2006 after she had positive test at Hechtel meet in Belgium (July 22, winning the 100 m in near PB 11.03). During this long appeal process she was provisionally suspended. She won her appeal on technical issues, her tests were not run according to WADA rules. First USADA accepted the appeal of Jenkins, but WADA had another opinion. But after all examinations WADA dropped the case at CAS. She returned to competition in 2006 after ending her career in 2003. The 30 years old athlete recently learned she will win a silver medal from Edmonton 2001 World Championships in the wake of Marion Jones case. She also has bronze from World Indoor Championships in Lisbon the same year. Her 200 m best 22.29 comes back from 1999 and 100 m 11.02 from her best year so far 2001. It is not immediately known whether she will return to competition. She was also coached by Trevor Graham who is charged of making false statements to federal investigators.
I do applaud WADA and CAS for having an athlete exonerated. Anytime there is testing, human error can be involved. My biggest concerns for WADA and USADA are to a) get enough funding and b) make sure the tests are peer reviewed and have protocols that can stand up in court. Without that, we are no different than the cheaters.
In another note, Marion Jones, the defrocked Olympian, is now out of jail. She did apparently make an appeal, or someone around her did, to President Bush, but that has been apparently shot down.
I hope that young athletes who are now tempted to use drugs will see that if the top women’s athlete in the world can go to jail and loose all of her medals and world records, the chance of them getting caught cheating is pretty good.