High jumper Robinson latest Jamaican hit with ban

April 16, 2014 - 12:28:52 am

KINGSTON: Jamaican high jumper Damar Robinson has been handed a one-year ban for doping in the latest blow to the country’s athletics programme.

The sanction was handed down by the chairman of the Jamaica Anti-doping Disciplinary Panel Kent Pantry following an in-camera hearing at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

Robinson’s suspension comes days after three Jamaican Olympians, sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson and discus thrower Allison Randall, received lengthy doping bans.

Former 100 metres world record holder Powell was banned for 18 months by a Jamaican anti-doping disciplinary panel on Thursday after testing positive for a banned substance last year.

The sprinter, 31, tested positive for the stimulant oxilophrine at last year’s national championships and the ban has been backdated to June 21 2013 - the day he provided the sample. His ban will end on December 20.

Athens Olympics relay champion Simpson was suspended for 18 months after testing positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine during last June’s trials.

Randall was suspended for two years after she too failed a drugs test during the 2013 national trials.

Robinson, a former Jamaican national junior representative who also competes in triple jump, was suspended for using a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM).

The ban for Robinson, who is currently studying in the United States, will be retroactive to June 16 2013 when he provided the positive sample at Jamaica’s national junior trials. The 20-year-old will be eligible to compete again on June 17.

Marathon death sparks charity donations surge

LONDON: Tens of thousands of pounds in donations poured into a charity yesterday in memory of a London Marathon runner who collapsed at the finish line and died.

Robert Berry, 42, was treated by four consultants after completing the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometre) course on Sunday and was transferred to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

He was running to raise money for the National Osteoporosis Society in recognition of the charity’s support for his mother after she was diagnosed with a brittle bone condition.

Berry, who worked in computer services, had been hoping to raise £1,700 but by midday yesterday, donations had topped £40,000 ($67,000, 48,000 euros).

On his JustGiving fundraising webpage, one anonymous donor wrote: “I didn’t know you but am so sad you gave your life doing such a wonderful thing. God bless you.”

In his final blog entry on April 6, he said breathing during a training run had been “a big struggle” and he had used his inhaler three times in the preceding week — as many times as he might normally do in a year.

Berry said his mother had been diagnosed with osteoporosis at the relatively early age of 52. The condition was triggered by a lifting incident five years before.

Due to the stress on her lower back, two sets of bones in her lower spine collapsed.

On his personal website, he wrote that his mother had been “an inspiration through the continued positive outlook she has displayed ever since, despite some quite clear discomfort”.

Berry was the 12th runner to die in the London Marathon since the event started in 1981.

Meanwhile an elite runner from Sierra Leone who finished 20th in the women’s race was still missing.

Mami Konneh Lahun, 24, had been due to fly home on Monday.