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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 17:39 UK

Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser fails drugs test

Powell and Gay on the difficulties of taking medication

Jamaica's Olympic and world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

Fraser failed the test at the Diamond League meet in Shanghai on 23 May after taking medication to treat toothache.

The 23-year-old was due to run at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday but withdrew before the event.

"I will go home and have a hearing before my federation in Jamaica. I have nothing to hide," she said.

"I take some responsibility because athletes are supposed to be responsible for what they take.

"But I am upset because everybody is starting to assume I am taking drugs. My reputation is ruined somewhat."

Fraser explained that she had three teeth filled in Jamaica before flying to Shanghai and had sought help from medical and meeting officials for the resulting pain.

When their medication did not ease the pain, she said she had thought of withdrawing from the Shanghai race but her coach Stephen Francis persuaded her to take a painkiller he was taking for kidney stones.

Shelly-Ann Fraser in Shanghai
Fraser ran in Shanghai despite suffering from toothache

Fellow sprinter Tyson Gay said: "It's tough. We do get sick and injured and it's about a responsibility to put down everything you take. It's difficult but a woman has to have the right people around her to double check everything.

"I just hope for the best and I hope everything clears up and we can get it out of the way and get on with the sport."

Fraser's compatriot, Asafa Powell, said: "It's very sad that this has happened at this time. I don't know much. It's unfortunate but I hope for the best.

"I don't get sick often but I usually just take Panadol or something simple. I just wait for it to go away. I try to find out if it's legal. You should register it on the list."

Asked if it could just be Fraser being naive, he said: "I guess it's something as simple as that."

Fraser's club president, Bruce James, said: "It is a minor doping violation. We have nothing to hide and decided to admit she had a positive result.

"She took pain medication after a dental procedure which is not a performance-enhancement drug.

"We are withdrawing her from all competitions until we are able to have a hearing to determine what sanction will apply, or if she will be exonerated.

"Coach Francis is not upset with Shelly-Ann at all. He is actually proud of her for being brave enough to race in Shanghai.

"The IAAF have advised us that the offending substance is oxycodone. Google it. It is not a performance-enhancing drug."

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said they were still waiting for the case to be concluded, but based on the explanation provided by Fraser and her agent they were "disappointed with her carelessness".

"Athletes must pay more attention to what they ingest as our rules are clear," he said.

Fraser last competed at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon last weekend, where she came second in the 100m behind another Jamaican, Veronica Campbell-Brown.

Following the meet, the sprinter announced she would not compete at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.

Carmelita Jeter of the United States won Thursday's 100m in Lausanne ahead of Fraser's compatriot Sherone Simpson.

Shelly-Ann Fraser

Fraser loses to Campbell-Brown in 100m



see also
Fraser to miss Commonwealth Games
05 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics


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