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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Friday, 3 September 2010 16:37 UK

British hurdler Callum Priestley given drugs ban

Callum Priestley
Priestley is the UK 60m hurdles champion

British sprint hurdler Callum Priestley has been banned from competition for two years after failing a drugs test.

As a result he also receives a lifetime ban from competing in the Olympics after testing positive for the banned asthma drug clenbuterol in South Africa in February this year.

UK Anti-Doping said the 21-year-old's suspension lasts until February 2012.

Priestley, of the Woodford Green with Essex Ladies club, won the 60m hurdles at the UK Championships this year.

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson said: "This case should act as a warning to all athletes that there is no hiding place from their responsibilities, no matter where they are, or whether they are competing.

"One of the important aspects of the Callum Priestley case is that he was tested off-season, out of competition and, indeed, outside of the UK.

"This is in keeping with UK Anti-Doping's focus on targeted, out-of-competition testing across all sports in their off-season."

In its report, the National Anti-Doping Panel said Priestley was unable to explain how clenbuterol came to be in his body.

This case should act as a warning to all athletes that there is no hiding place from their responsibilities

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson

He initially suggested that the most likely source was contamination of supplements he had taken on the advice of a nutritionist, but scientific tests failed to detect any trace of them.

"The athlete now believes that the most likely source was meat from animals or poultry which had been treated with steroids, but again it has not proved possible to produce any scientific or other evidence to substantiate the theory that any meat which he ate in South Africa was so contaminated," the report added.

The start of Priestley's two-year suspension has been backdated to February this year because he was unable to prove no fault or negligence on his part. He has the right to appeal against the ban.

Priestley, who had been suspended since the drugs test, is now ineligible to take part in the London Olympics in 2012 and all future Games under the rules of the British Olympic Association.

The hurdler had been included on the Olympic development programme when new lottery funding was announced in October 2009.

see also
Priestley handed drugs suspension
05 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Chambers sets 60m season's best
13 Feb 10 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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