KINGSTON (Reuters) - Jamaican Winter Olympian Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian has been given a one-year ban for using the banned steroid clenbuterol ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) said.
Fenlator-Victorian had been provisionally suspended since March 2018, when she was notified of the test results, so the ban had effectively been served, the federation said.
“The parties agreed on a sanction consisting of a period of ineligibility of 12 months, commencing on 8 March 2019, against which the period of provisional suspension served since 8 March 2018 shall be credited,” the IBSF said in its ruling.
The bobsledder had faced the possibility of a four-year ban following the positive test on Jan. 13 last year, less than a month before she competed at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
However, the federation accepted her explanation that the positive test was caused by a contaminated nutritional supplement.
“The IBSF concluded that the athlete had committed an anti-doping rule violation but established no significant fault, given that (a) the detected prohibited substance came from a contaminated supplement, (b) she checked the product information/ingredients before use, and (c) she declared the product on the doping control form,” it said.
“The IBSF... also noted the very small quantity of the prohibited substance found in the sample and considered the fact that the athlete’s next doping control sample, provided on 25 Jan. 2018, did not result in an adverse analytical finding (AAF). The (hearing panel) therefore concluded that, in agreement with the athlete’s explanation, the likely source of clenbuterol in her sample was the nutritional supplement.”
American-born driver Fenlator-Victorian and former track sprinter Carrie Russell finished 19th in the two-woman bobsleigh in South Korea where they received a lot of attention as the first female athletes from the Caribbean island nation to compete at a Winter Olympics. Fenlator-Victorian did not immediately respond to e-mailed queries about the IBSF ruling on Saturday.
However, Jamaican Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation president Christian Stokes told Reuters he was pleased the IBSF had accepted that Fenlator-Victorian was not at fault.
“I... am pleased that they have concluded what we have long held which is that no attempt was made to cheat, no advantage was gained, best practices were followed at all times, and full disclosures made,” Stokes said by telephone in Kingston.
“It is though a warning that even with the best programs in place contamination and an AAF is possible. We learn and move forward,” Stokes added.
Editing by Clare Fallon