Cricketer Russell takes witness stand

October 08, 2016
Jamaica and West Indies cricketer André Russell.

West Indies cricketer Andre Russell took the witness stand in his whereabouts violation hearing at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday.

However, the hearing, which was scheduled to end yesterday, will resume on Tuesday with the cross-examination of the all-rounder.

Jamaica Anti-doping Commission's (JADCO) executive director Carey Brown and Whereabouts Officer, Tajae Smith also gave testimonies.

Russell's lawyer, Patrick Foster, tried to prove his client took all possible steps to file his whereabouts, but found it difficult with his compact schedule and limited knowledge and training on updating his whereabouts on JADCO's Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) website.

"I tried to put in my whereabouts information but could not do it properly," Russell stated.

Russell said he made frequent trips to JADCO for updates and was usually assisted by staff, including Smith.

However, during his cross-examination, JADCO's representative Lackston Robinson questioned Russell's knowledge of JADCO's rules, guidelines, and consequences in regards to whereabouts filing, and tried to prove that Russell knew of his filing failures and the laws, which govern such situation. Robinson argued that the cricketer should have acted more responsibly in order to avoid his present predicament.

But Foster continued to focus on JADCO's blunder in their correspondent with the West Indian all-rounder, who said at one point he grew confused with communique from JADCO, after repeated attempts to update his whereabouts through his agent Will Quinn and West Indies Cricket Board representative Judith Lue.

Foster argued that the anti-doping agency did very little to educate and train cricketers on updating their whereabouts information on the ADAMS website.

Russell had enlisted Lue to assist with his whereabouts filing in the April to June quarter, while in India competing, with the assistance of Smith, who, in his testimony admitted giving Lue instructions on updating the system.

It was noted that Russell contacted Smith to retrieve his login details before passing that information on to Lue, who then called Smith for guidance as it relates to navigating the submission system.

Russell did his whereabouts submission for January to March on February 17.

However, Foster noted that although Lue completed the April to July update, it was not recorded on the system, as a result the commission erred by sending the cricketer two filing failures in the same quarter.

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