SYDNEY – Australian sprinter Jessica Peris, the daughter of Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris, has tested positive to a banned substance, drug agency ASADA said Thursday, rocking her Commonwealth Games hopes.
Peris, who shot into contention for the Games in April with several personal bests over 100m and 200m this year, was subject to an out-of-competition test in October where ASADA collected both blood and urine samples.
“Her 'A' urine sample tested positive for three prohibited metabolites listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List,” the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority said. “Due to the nature of the prohibited metabolites detected in the initial urine screen, an additional scientific analysis was required before the positive test could be declared and the athlete notified.
“As a result of the type of substance detected, the athlete was subject to a mandatory provisional suspension from all competition, in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the Athletics Australia Anti-Doping Policy.”
Peris, 27, claimed there were “substantial flaws” in the drug test which came back positive and forced her withdrawal from last week's selection trials for the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast.
“I did not take any performance-enhancing substance. I now believe that there are substantial flaws in the way in which my urine tests were conducted in respect of my urine sample to ASADA on 18 October,” she said.
In response to her claims about the integrity of the test, ASADA chief executive David Sharpe said he was “confident in the testing process and welcomed any oversight”.
“Our testing program is rigorous and professional, and is designed to detect doping, with the ultimate aim of protecting the right of clean athletes to fair competition,” Sharpe said.
Peris's mother, Nova, was the first indigenous Australian to win an Olympic gold medal, in field hockey at Atlanta in 1996. She then won gold in the 200m and 4x100m relay at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games take place from April 4 to 15, with thousands of athletes and support staff due to attend.