posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 01:04 PM
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - U.S. sprinter Torri Edwards was knocked out of the Olympics for good Tuesday when an arbitration panel upheld her two-year drug
suspension, rejecting her arguments that she took a banned stimulant by accident.
Edwards had been considered a medal contender in the 100 and 200 meters at the Athens Games. She inherited the world championship in the 100 when
Kelli White forfeited that crown because of drug use. She tested positive for nikethamide at a meet in Martinique on April 24, but blamed the result
on a glucose supplement she took because she wasn't feeling well. She said her physician bought the glucose at a store on the Caribbean island, and
that she was unaware it contained any banned substances.
The international Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Tuesday, one day after it held a 5 1/2-hour hearing at which Edwards spoke on her own behalf.
The ruling is final.
At the U.S. Olympic trials, Edwards finished second in the 100 in 11.02 seconds, and third in the 200 in 22.39. her spot in the 100 will go to Gail
Devers, who finished fourth at the trials. Her spot in the 200 will go to LaShaunte'a Moore.
Edwards' suspension was announced last Wednesday by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
A U.S. arbitration panel that first heard the case said there might have been "exceptional circumstances." But an International Association of
Athletics Federations doping review board rejected that argument, relying on the "strict liability" standard that declares athletes responsible for
any banned substances found in their bodies.
The IAAF said it was "very pleased" that the CAS panel had accepted the ruling of its doping review board.
"The panel also found that the athlete and her support personnel had been guilty of negligence," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. "It's very important
that athletes realize their obligation regarding doping. The credibility of the sport depends on it."