Barbadian sprint king Levi Cadogan’s promising career could now be in jeopardy after a prohibited substance was found in a recent drugs test, leading to fears of an imminent ban from the sport.
What is normally termed as an “adverse analytical finding” — indicating the presence of banned substances — was detected in the urine of the 23-year-old, who was a silver medalist in the 100 metres at the 2014 CARIFA and Central American Caribbean Games, and represented Barbados at the Rio 2016 Olympic games.
Yesterday, the former St Michael School student met with an independent panel of the National Anti-Doping Commission in a hearing, to determine if the sample found was intentionally taken.
“I can confirm that there was a hearing of the case by an independent panel held yesterday but I am unaware of the results,” chairman of the National Anti-Doping Commission (NAPC) and the Regional Anti-Doping Organistion (RADO), Dr Adrian Lorde confirmed to Barbados TODAY.
“Anytime you get an adverse analytical finding you need to interview the athlete to find out if there is a substance and where it would have came from. Sometimes athletes have medical conditions that [require] them taking various substances.”
Dr Lorde, who was the Chef de Mission for the Barbados Olympic Team in Rio last year, said at this stage there was no indication that the sprinter was involving in doping.
“Just because there is something in the lab report doesn’t mean the athlete was doping. No athlete should have these things in their urine. However, some athletes with conditions will be permitted because they have Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE).
“If the athlete has that and it was given by the organization then the athlete would be able to take a substance like insulin. Insulin is a prohibited substance. If the lab finds insulin in your urine then it will say ‘yes, it is an AAF (adverse analytical finding) but it might not be a doping offence because the person may have already gotten permission from the anti-doping organization.”
If Cadogan is slapped with a sanction, Dr Lorde said a number of factors would be considered in determining the severity of any penalty.
“[It depends] on whether the substance was taken intentionally or non-intentionally for doping. [It also has to do with] whether the athlete admitted to it or not,” the leading sports medicine official explained.
“There is also a provision in the World Anti-Doping code which states whether he (the athlete) is willing to assist the commission as far as drug testing and education, and allowing them to know of any other cases he may know of. All that would determine the level of sanction.”
Dr Lorde could not put a timeline on how soon the results of the hearing would be available but explained it was a very thorough process which was undertaken.
“The independent panel have to determine if it was doping and then make a decision if it was, what their recommendation would be in terms of a sanction,” he pointed out
“The committee will look at the finding, talk to the athlete and find out if he has a TUE and determine the circumstances as to how this thing would have got into his urine.”
He continued: “[The time span] varies the Andre Russell hearing took about a month in Jamaica. It depends on the evidence and the substance whether they will have to get technical expertise to assist in making a decision, whether the athlete admits that they have taken a prohibited substance.
“There are a number of factors so you can’t say that we would have one hearing and that is it. But when the committee is finish it would report back to the commission and we would be able to inform the athlete of what the discipline committee have found.”