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Attorney: No T&T cyclist took performance enhancing drug; they’re sullying our reputation!

“In light of this persistent negative narrative, I am compelled to inform the national community that […] no member of the team tested positive for an anabolic steroid, masking agent, or any other substance that may suggest an intention to cheat or to gain an unfair competitive advantage over his competitors.”

The following is a press release by sport attorney J Tyrone Marcus, who represents one of the Trinidad and Tobago cyclists in danger of being stripped of medals won at the 2019 Pan American Games due to a doping violation:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago cyclists Njisane Phillip (left) and Nicholas Paul celebrate after helping Team TTO cop gold in the Men’s Team Sprint final at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on 1 August 2019.
(Copyright AP Photo/Fernando Llano/Wired868)

Further to my media release of 27 December 2019, I am hereby providing a further update, following the Pan Am Sports’ 26 December 2019 media release, in which they stated that Trinidad and Tobago had been stripped of two medals won at the 2019 Pan Am Games.

This case has been, and continues to be, the subject of an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and is therefore an active legal matter. Pan Am Sports’ premature disclosure has created increasing negative speculation regarding the integrity of the local cycling programme. This speculation has taken a toll on each member of the team, the team’s coach, the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation and the local sporting industry as a whole.

In light of this persistent negative narrative, I am compelled to inform the national community that the prohibited substance in question, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, is described as a substance which is “more likely to have been consumed by an Athlete for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance.

In other words, no member of the team tested positive for an anabolic steroid, masking agent, or any other substance that may suggest an intention to cheat or to gain an unfair competitive advantage over his competitors.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Njisane Phillip gathers his thoughts during action at the Rio 2016 Olympics on 12 August.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The applicable confidentiality provisions prohibit me from saying anything more than this, but as alluded to earlier, this release has become necessary due to the unfortunate growing speculation regarding the team, the cycling programme, the persons associated with it, and the potential such unfounded speculation has for the tarnishing of their good name and reputation.

The current legal procedure must run its course and so no further comment will be made until the process so permits.

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