Usain Bolt’s Jamaica team-mate Veronica Campbell-Brown fails drug test

Campbell-Brown, who has won seven Olympic medals, is one of two female runners facing bans

Jamaica, home of Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest human, has been plunged into a major drugs scandal after two of its top female athletes failed dope tests.

It was revealed yesterday that the world 200m champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown, has tested positive for a banned diuretic. Two days earlier the 400m runner Dominique Blake lost her appeal against a six-year ban for a second doping offence.

The shock development came in the wake of double Olympic champion Bolt’s stunning return to form in Oslo, where he recorded the fastest 200m time in the world this year.

In 2009 five Jamaican athletes were banned for drugs offences, among them Bolt’s rival and training partner Yohan Blake, the current world 100m champion, who was given a three-month suspension for testing positive for a substance he claimed was not on the banned list of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

Now the Caribbean island which has dominated world sprinting in recent years faces an unprecedented crisis in the sport.

Campbell-Brown, 31, is one of its biggest sporting heroines, bracketed with Bolt and Asafa Powell in superstar status. She is only the second woman to have won consecutive 200m Olympic gold medals and was a silver medallist at London 2012, where a total of 11 Jamaican female sprinters won medals in the 100m and 200m and the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays.

VCB, as she is known, has won a total of seven Olympic medals. A sample she gave at the Jamaica Invitational meet on 4 May tested positive for a diuretic which can act as a masking agent for performance-enhancing substances, and yesterday local media reported that the B sample result was confirmed.

The International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) are expected to rule on the tests early this week.

Blake tested positive last year for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant that is commonly used as a nasal decongestant, and is banned in competition.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (Jadco) banned Blake during Jamaica’s Olympic trials last June, when she finished sixth in the 400m.

She was previously banned for nine months after ephedrine was found in her system in 2006. She had been in the women’s 4 x 400 relay squad at the London Olympics but did not compete for Jamaica, which took a bronze medal.

Another Jamaican athlete, the 800m runner Ricardo Cunningham, who tested positive for the prohibited substance pseudoephedrine, also at last year’s Olympic trials, escaped with only a reprimand.

After the five athletes were banned in 2011 following a meeting in the Bahamas, head coach David Riley claimed the nation was being unfairly targeted because of the outstanding performances of Bolt and others.

“The continuous drugs testing of our athletes is very unfortunate,” he said. “They are free to choose who they want to select [to test], but the whole thing did not look to be random, because our athletes were targeted.

“We are not afraid of drug-testing because we do drug-testing in Jamaica and the process is to find dishonest individuals. But we should do so randomly and not target a country or certain individuals.”

The Jamaican government recently substantially increased the budget for drug-testing conducted by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission in and out of competition, and for public-education programmes. Wada who in the past have expressed concern about the performances of Kenyan athletes, have so far given no indication that Jamaica as a country is being targeted. But after the latest revelations there is no doubt that the heat will be turned up on the island in the sun.

Busted Athletes

Veronica Campbell-Brown used to train with Steve Mullings. The Jamaican sprinter  tested positive for excessive testosterone in 2004 and for a masking agent in 2011. He was given a lifetime ban that was upheld in March this year.

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor


Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all