KINGSTON, Jamaica – Patrick Foster, the attorney representing West Indies cricketer Andre Russell, is disputing the number of times that his client had committed a violation of the whereabouts rule.
The lawyer presented that argument as the preliminary hearing before the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission’s (JADCO) Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel got under way yesterday, at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston.
Foster claimed that Russell had only received correspondents for two periods – January to March, 2015 and July to September, 2015 – for allegedly missing the out-of-competition doping tests, but three is the stipulation to commit a doping violation.
Queen’s Counsel Foster, Russell’s lead defence, made a request of JADCO’s lead lawyer, Laxton Robinson, to confirm the period for the third violation, as he was not in possession of a third correspondent from JADCO notifying his client that he had breached the rules.
Robinson said Foster’s request was premature and stated that Russell was fully aware of all the violations and that they were very confident the cricketer had received all correspondence and was in possession of all documents relating to his alleged filing failures.
Robinson said all documents would be revealed during the case.
This failed to satisfy Foster, who wanted some confirmation of the third filing failure.
“I’m amazed that Mr Robinson thinks that request is premature. I think Mr Russell has a right to know what these missed tests are … Robinson wants us to proceed on an assumption and that is not enough for us,” he argued.
Foster’s argument also received the support of the tribunal panel chairman, Hugh Faulkner, who called on Robinson to give some evidence of Russell’s third filing failure.
Robinson said he was not at liberty to produce any such document, claiming his team was only prepared for a preliminary hearing and as a result, they never had the documentation in their possession.
“All documents are in the possession of Mr Russell and he is fully aware of the allegations. We are confident that he has all the documents,” Robinson insisted.
It was agreed that JADCO would make available the third filing failure by 4 p.m. on Monday.
Meanwhile, both parties were in full agreement of dates set for the hearing and the disclosure of files and bundles. The hearing is set for September 19 and 20.
JADCO has until August 10 at 4 p.m. to serve their files and bundles, while the deadline for Russell’s team is September 7.