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Jamaican athletes fail drugs tests

POSITIVE: Ricardo Cunningham and Dominique Blake are set to answer for failed doping tests

THE JAMAICAN Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has set a hearing on October 17 for 4x400m relay runner, Dominique Blake, and national 800m senior champion, Ricardo Cunningham.

The formal hearing comes after an initial meeting in Kingston yesterday (October 2) concerning allegations that the two athletes contravened anti-doping regulations.

The hearing in two weeks time may determine the extent of disciplinary measures brought against both athletes.

According to The Jamaican Gleaner, Blake, 25, tested positive for stimulant dimethylpentylamine.

Also known as methylhexanamine, the substance is produced from geranium flowers and can be used in multiple ways – such as a nutritional supplement, a weight loss aid, and in conjunction with steroids to enhance performance.

Although Blake travelled to London for the summer’s Olympics, she did not actually participate – she was consigned to the role of an unused relay alternate.

Unlike Blake, Cunningham appeared at the initial hearing, in which he was informed he tested positive for pseudoephedrine, with levels of the substance found marginally higher than normal. The drug, banned by World Anti-Doping Agency, is nevertheless found in more innocuous products like over the counter prescriptions for colds and headaches.

The 800m athlete, who trains with Jamaican track club MVP, won his trials to make Jamaica’s Olympic team, but was not selected due to failing to meet the stipulated qualifying standards.

Dr Herb Elliot, chairman of JADCO, said after the initial meeting: “Two athletes were tested when we had our trials here and they came up positive. One made the team [Olympic] and one didn't make the team.”

Elliot told The Jamaican Gleaner: “The substances, in the case of Cunningham, it is on the banned list of drugs, but also in many cough medicines. So, of course, if you take it and you are tested, the results will bring up adverse findings."

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