Western Grandstand : Let’s collectively defend Nesta Carter

February 04, 2017
Photographers take pictures as (from left) Usain Bolt, Nesta Carter and Asafa Powell dance moments after they set a new world record to win gold in the men's 4x100 metres relay at Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Western Bureau:

As one who has used a great deal of space in this column to chastise the drug cheats in global track and field, it might seem hypocritical for me to be coming out in support of embattled sprinter Nesta Carter, but I feel compelled to because in my opinion, he has got a raw deal with his belated positive drug test.

I believe the punishment handed down to Carter by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was a rape of justice in so many ways that I simply cannot believe that anyone with any semblance of sanity could have made such a ruling.

In 2008, when Carter's sample was taken, he passed with flying colours. This very same IOC found no banned substance in his system, so Carter and his teammates - the legendary Usain, Michael Frater, and Asafa Powell were justifiably awarded the 4x100m gold medal.

It was not a case that the testing procedure failed to detect that Carter had the stimulant methylhexaneamine in his system, but regardless of whether the substance was detected, it was not on the banned list at the time, so it really doesn't matter one way or the other because the substance was not illegal at the time.

Had it been a case that he had a banned substance in his system at the time and the testing procedure missed it, and whether a new or an old technique was used to find it belatedly almost 10 years later, I would not be writing this column because as I have stated repeatedly, I am totally against all drug cheats.

 

WOEFULLY STUPID

 

As far as I am concerned, the whole thing is woefully stupid and really defies logic. It's like charging a man for smoking in a public place 10 years ago when the law against smoking in public never existed at the time.

I know that our leaders tend to be diplomatic when they are faced with injustice by powerful organisations like the IOC for fear of retribution. However, I believe that the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association has a perfect opportunity to make a lot of noise about this unjustifiable case of seeking to tarnish Jamaica's enviable reputation.

Based on the way a country such as the United States zealously defends its reputation once it is on solid ground, I am sure that they would have given the IOC the roasting of a lifetime if Carter was one of their athletes. However, because Jamaica is not a superpower outside track and field, they feel they can get away with it.

If the funds are not available to launch an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against this wicked ruling, I would be only happy to join whatever fundraising effort we could undertake to realise the funding. This ruling must be reversed, and the IOC must be rebuked for making it.

I have every confidence that once the case is appealed, Carter will be cleared and the medals reinstated. If there is any fairness in CAS, this year should not end without Bolt's triple-triple getting back into the record books and Jamaica's enviable reputation repaired and restored as a symbol of our greatness.

I am hoping that the Government of Jamaica will get on board and defend Carter.

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