BY DAN PALMER
Jamaica have selected teenage sprinter Briana Williams for the upcoming International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships, despite ongoing proceedings over a failed drugs test.
The 17-year-old will face a doping hearing from September 23, just four days before the start of the World Championships in Doha.
It was thought there would not be enough time for Williams to compete in Qatar’s capital, even if she was cleared, but the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has opted to name her in their squad.
“The window is very tight but we firmly believe in the principle of innocence until proven guilty and for us not to select her or put her on the team would be punishing her even before she has been found guilty,” JAAA President Dr Warren Blake said to Loop Jamaica.
“If it happens that the independent hearing panel finds that she is culpable or guilty then she won’t be on the team.
“If she is cleared then she is on the team.”
Williams has been selected for both the 100 metres and 4x100m relay.
It was hoped her hearing with the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (IADP) would be expedited but this has not proved possible.
She is the latest sprint star to emerge from the Caribbean country’s production line and is the reigning world under-20 champion over both 100m and 200m.
The two-time Pan American under-20 gold medallist was made aware of a positive result on July 25 after she failed for banned substance hydrochlorothiazide, a medication normally used to treat high blood pressure.
Emir Crowne, who is representing Williams in the case, claims a contaminated over-the-counter cold and flu medication is the cause of the failure.
It has also been reported that Williams declared the medication on her doping control form while being tested by Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) officials.
Williams travelled to Lima for the Pan American Games last month but was forced to withdraw when news of the failure emerged.
She has a personal best of 10.94sec over 100m from the Jamaican Championships in June, which was enough to qualify for Doha.
IADP chairman Kent Gammon will lead proceedings alongside Dr Marjorie Vassell and Denise Forrest.
JADCO will be represented by Ian Wilkinson.
Williams is coached by Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago, the men’s 100m Olympic silver medallist at Sydney 2000.
In 2001, Boldon tested positive for the stimulant ephedrine but was only given a warning as the substance can be found in many over-the-counter remedies.