CAS cites doping sample flaws

LONDON -- Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown was cleared of doping because of blatant flaws in the test collection procedures and possible "environmental contamination" of her urine sample, sport's highest appeals body said Tuesday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport released its full report explaining the decision to uphold the three-time Olympic gold medalist's appeal against a two-year doping ban. The runner was cleared by CAS in late February, but the reasons have not been released until now.

In a 58-page ruling, the three-man arbitration panel outlined "deplorable" mistakes by Jamaican athletics and anti-doping officials in the collection of the athlete's first partial sample. CAS said the errors could have led to the sample being contaminated by water or sweat containing a banned substance.

Campbell-Brown tested positive for the diuretic HCT after competing in a national meet in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 4, 2013. Both the "A" and "B" samples came back positive.

The athlete, who denied intentionally taking a banned substance, was initially suspended provisionally by the IAAF and unable to defend her 200-meter title at the world championships in Moscow. In September, a Jamaican disciplinary panel ruled that she had not committed a doping violation and gave her only a reprimand.

The International Association of Athletics Federations contested the finding and ordered the Jamaican federation to impose a two-year suspension in February. Campbell-Brown appealed to CAS and a hearing was held in London on Feb. 21.

The case centered on the handling of her sample after she failed to produce the required amount of urine in her first attempt.

CAS found that Campbell-Brown established a "credible" possibility that her positive test resulted from Jamaica's failure to comply with the international standards for partial sample testing.

The court said the Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association "has persistently failed to comply" with the global standards.

"That systematic and knowing failure ... is deplorable and gives rise to the most serious concerns about the overall integrity of the JAAA's anti-doping processes," the ruling said.