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Jamaicans to miss worlds as hearings continue

THE five Jamaican athletes who tested positive for a banned stimulant will miss the world championships due to their doping hearings not being completed, a Jamaican athletics official said yesterday.

The five, none of whom won medals at the Beijing Olympics, tested positive for the stimulant methylxanthine at the national championships in June. Their names have not been made public.

"Based on what is going on, they will not be able to go to Berlin," Dr. Warren Blake, second vice president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), told Reuters in an interview.

"We would have had to name them on the final team list by today, but the hearings began today and will not be completed until later this week," Blake added.

"It is therefore fair to say that the five will miss being on the team, as they can't be selected until they are cleared."

The world championships are scheduled for Aug 15-23 in Berlin.

Hearings for the five athletes, four men and a woman, are scheduled to continue on Wednesday and Friday.

"The main aim now is for justice to be done and they get a proper hearing," Blake said. "Whether they are guilty or innocent, the result must be able to stand the test of time."

Methylxanthine, while not listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list, falls within a category of stimulants banned by the agency, anti-doping experts said. It is frequently found in nasal inhalers.


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