Shock-waves were sent through the Jamaican track and field fraternity when news surfaced that a banned diuretic was found in the” A” sample of a Jamaican athlete’s urine. On August 27, 2019, it was confirmed that world u-20 double sprint gold medallist and National junior record holder Brianna Williams, was the one who was tested positive for the banned substance Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). The substance was reported to have been in a “Pharma Cold and Flu” medication taken by the athlete recently.
Whilst the diuretic was not listed as an ingredient on the product, traces were found after it was tested by the NSF International Labs. Williams’s lawyer, Dr. Emir Crowne, stated that young Brianna Williams should not be blamed for the ingestion of such substance and therefore should not be sanctioned. If the athlete is found guilty she is likely to face up to a 4-year ban from the sport.
Six years ago, eight-time Olympic medallist, Veronica Campbell Brown was provisionally suspended after testing positive for HCTZ, but was cleared of all doping charges when the IAAF challenged the ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sports. In 2015, Travis Smikle was handed down a 2-year ban by the Jamaica Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel due to the presence of the same substance in his urine sample.
Williams was set to represent Jamaica in the 2019 World Championships in Doha at the End of September. She will now have to wait on the outcome of this situation to see if she will be eligible to feature.
Daniel Jarrett is a Journalist and Event Host, who is passionate about youth empowerment. One of his main goals is to make a significant contribution to the development of youth through communication.