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Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK

Triathlete's appeal turned down

Canadian triathlete Kelly Guest has lost last-ditch appeal against a positive drug test at the Commonwealth Games.

The Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) dismissed his appeal at an emergency hearing late on Wednesday night.

Canadian team officials said the panel of arbitrators would give their reasons for refusing the appeal later on Thursday.

The 25-year-old tested positive test for the banned steroid nandrolone at the ITU Triathlon World Cup event in the Canadian city of Edmonton on 14 July and was sent home last week.

Four-year ban possible

The triathlete then appealed to to have his ban overturned on the grounds that the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport had suspended him before his B sample had been tested.

Canadian officials said at the time that Guest's A sample had returned levels above the acceptable limit.

Guest now faces a four-year suspension from the sport after a B sample confirmed his positive drugs test.

"Anyone who knows me, knows that I believe there is no place in sport for drugs"
Kelly Guest

But the athlete was found to be just over the legal limit and requested the B sample to be tested.

Guest has said he had been taking at least six food supplements and believes that could be the source of the drug.

"Most of the things I'm taking are what anyone would take to be healthy - vitamin C and Vitamin E," he said after initially failing the drugs test.

"The only people who can have some idea of what it feels like are my team-mates, the coaching staff and my family.

"All these people know what sport means to me and anyone who knows me, knows that I believe there is no place in sport for drugs."

Triathlon team president Bill Hallett has pledged to support Kelly through what he called a difficult time, but stressed the team's anti-drugs stance.

Guest's coach Lance Watson said the result of the drugs test was "baffling" and questioned whether there might have been any cross-contamination in the sample.

"It's a trace amount (of nandrolone) in his system rather than a gross performance-enhancing amount that some athletes have had in the past," Watson said.

"It seems like it's the little guys who get caught using a cough syrup, while the professionals (drug cheats) get away with it."

The athlete was last tested almost a year ago at the Canadian national championships.

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