Geneva - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled Monday that a six-year doping ban on Jamaican 400-metre runner Dominique Blake was too harsh and should be cut to four and a half years.
Blake tested positive for the banned substance methylhexanamine at the 2012 Jamaican Olympic Athletics Trials.
The runner had been a women's 4x400 relay alternate at the London Olympics that year but did not compete for Jamaica, which took a bronze medal.
The Jamaican Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel last year handed her a six-year doping, starting on July 24, 2012, saying the harsh sentence was justified by the existence of a first doping offence in 2006 that led to a nine-month ban.
Blake appealed that decision, insisting that while she had indeed taken Neurocore, which is believed to be the source of the banned substance, she had done so to recover from practice and not to enhance her sport performance.
CAS partially upheld her appeal, saying Monday “the six-year sanction imposed by the JADAT was deemed too severe.”
“In view of some mitigating factors, the CAS panel determined that the appropriate sanction should be four years and six months,” it said, adding that the suspension should start on July 1, 2012, the date Blake's sample was collected.
The panel however stressed the runner had “failed to establish that she bears no significant fault or negligence.”