My Random Thoughts

Location: United Kingdom

A Naija Guy living (and loving) in the UK.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Give Christine a break...

The Poster girl for London's 2012 Olympics bid, Christine Ohurogu was given a one year ban from competing in athletics in the UK. The 22 year old 400m athlete was given the ban for missing three out of competition drugs tests which is given the same penalty as if she had failed a test. Christine won a Commonwealth gold in the 400m in the 2006 games. There have been no allegations of actual drug usage against her and it appears that a talented but inexperienced young athlete may be denied the opportunity to compete in the olympics because she has been naive.

The International Association of Athletics Federations' rules on drug testing demand that all athletes alert the testers to their whereabouts for one hour a day, five days a week.

Even the statement from the UK Athletics announcing her ban, appeared to absolve her of any guilt or wrongdoing: "Following a disciplinary hearing held on 11 September 2006, the independent disciplinary committee, chaired by Charles Flint QC, has decided unanimously that Christine Ohuruogu has committed a doping violation under Rule 32.2 (d) of the IAAF Rules which stipulates that the violation is 'the evaluation of three missed out-of-competition tests (as defined in Rule 35.17)'.
"The Independent Disciplinary Committee imposed the sanction prescribed under Rule 40.1(c) of the IAAF Rules that Christine Ohuruogu is ineligible to take part in athletics events for one year. This period of ineligibility runs from 6 August 2006, the date Christine Ohuruogu was suspended.
"In the decision the independent disciplinary committee made clear its view as to the limited degree of fault to be attributed to Christine Ohuruogu. The Committee stated that this was a minor unintentional infraction of the regime due only to forgetfulness. It made clear that there is no suggestion, nor any grounds for suspicion, that the offence may have been deliberate in order to prevent testing.
"The Independent Disciplinary Committee also made clear its view that 'this is undoubtedly a very harsh sanction for the minor degree of fault attributed to a talented young athlete who had no intention of infringing the anti-doping rules'."

Come on guys lets give this girl a break!