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Monday, November 15, 1999 Published at 07:30 GMT


Ottey cleared of drug charge

Merlene Ottey (centre): Maintained the charge was a "terrible mistake"

Sprinter Merlene Ottey has been cleared of using illegal drugs by the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association.

The association's president Adrian Wallace said: "The panel has made a decision that Merlene Ottey is not guilty of a doping offence.

But the decision - like that taken by UK Athletics' to clear sprinters Dougie Walker and Linford Christie - may not be recognised by the International Amateur Athletics Federation.

Mr Wallace added: "We're sure the IAAF is going to want to know the details of how they came to their decision, and that is why the panel is going to meet again just to put it on paper, to summarise their findings."

Ottey was banned after testing positive for nandrolone at a 5 July meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.

At the time she said there had been a "terrible mistake", but she nonetheless withdrew from the World Championships in Seville, Spain.

A "B" sample also tested positive on 15 September, according to the JAAA.

The 39-year-old Jamaican sprinter rose to prominence when she took 200m silver in the 1983 Olympics. She went on to collect 14 medals in world athletics events, including two golds.

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