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Attorney: Briana took cold and flu tablets; Jamaican junior sprint champ wants expedited hearing

The legal team of Jamaican sprinter Briana Williams has released a statement seeking an expedited hearing with the Jamaican Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel after the World Under-20 gold-medallist tested positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide. 

The sprinter, who is coached by four-time Olympic medalist Ato Boldon, blames cold and flu medication for the test result.

Trinidadian attorney Dr Emir Crowne, who represents Williams, said: “We are mindful that this is a case involving a minor and remain committed to ensuring that the athlete’s rights are fully respected in this process. There will, therefore, be limited public discussion of the matter until it is resolved.”

Read the full media release below:

Jamaica Briana Williams
Photo: Jamaican sprinter Briana Williams (centre) is flanked by USA’s Twanisha Terry (right) and Great Britain’s Kristal Awuah after copping gold at the Women’s 100 meter final of the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland on 12 July 2018.
Terry and Awuah finished second and third respectively.
(Copyright Kalle Parkkinen/Lehtikuva via AP/Wired868)

Jamaican World Under-20 double sprint gold medallist and national junior record holder Briana Williams is seeking an expedited hearing before the Jamaican Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel with respect to her adverse analytical finding for hydrochlorothiazide, a banned diuretic.

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Williams competed in the Jamaican National Senior Championships on June 20th and 21st, 2019. She awoke with flu-like symptoms on June 21st and her mother gave her an over-the-counter cold medication – Pharma Cold and Flu – which she had previously purchased at a local pharmacy in Kingston, Jamaica. Later that day, Williams declared her use of the cold medication on her doping control form.

On July 25th Williams was notified of the presence of the banned diuretic in her A Sample. She then requested that her B Sample be tested. On August 27th, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission notified Williams that her B Sample also returned an adverse analytical finding for the banned diuretic.

In the intervening period between receiving the A Sample results and B Sample results, Williams’ coach, Ato Boldon, had the cold medication independently tested by NSF International Labs in Michigan. Those independent tests demonstrated that the tablets contained hydrochlorothiazide, the banned diuretic. Hydrochlorothiazide was not listed as an ingredient on the cold medication in question, nor would one expect it to be.

In light of the pending selections for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Williams now seeks an urgent hearing before the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel to resolve this matter fairly and conclusively.

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