Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Jamaican medal hope faces life ban after second failed drugs test

Jamaican sprinter Steve Mullings – the third-fastest man in the world this year, behind Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay – is facing the prospect of a life ban after failing a drugs test for the second time in his career.

The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper reported yesterday that the 26-year-old had tested positive for a masking agent at the Jamaican national championships in June. He faces a disciplinary hearing and is unlikely to be part of the team at the World Championships, which open in Daegu, South Korea, two weeks tomorrow.

Mullings had been expected to be a serious medal contender, having clocked a lifetime 100m best of 9.80sec in Eugene, Oregon, in June and beaten Gay, the US record holder and one of his training partners, in New York a week later. The world record holder Usain Bolt stands behind him in the rankings, with a 100m best of 9.88sec in 2011. Only Powell and Gay, who will miss the World Championships because of injury, have run faster this year – 9.78sec and 9.79sec respectively.

Mullings served a two-year ban after testing positive for excessive levels of testosterone in 2004.