The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has withdrawn its appeal against the length of the ban imposed on West Indies cricketer Andre Russell because of an internal procedural error by its executive director Carey Brown.
This was disclosed yesterday during a press conference hosted by chairman of the JADCO Board, Alexander Williams.
The decision to withdraw was made after consultation with Jamaica’s Attorney General.
However, despite the foul up, Brown maintains the full confidence of the board, Williams said as he addressed journalists gathered in the boardroom at JADCO in Half-Way Tree in Kingston.
Andre Russell, one of the best T20 all-rounders in the world, was banned for a year in January after an independent disciplinary panel found him guilty of an anti-doping violation in 2015.
Russell had failed, on three consecutive occasions in 2015, to notify JADCO as to his location for possible drug testing. Russell was warned about the breaches, and asked on each occasion to explain his filing failure and he failed to do so.
JADCO appealed the length of the sentence but earlier Monday that appeal was withdrawn.
Russell’s attorneys also withdrew their appeal of the one-year sanction before an appeals panel at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Downtown Kingston.
According to Williams, the executive director may have misunderstood, a change of procedure introduced following a visit of officials of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2013.
“In 2013, WADA officials visited Jamaica to see how JADCO was functioning, and WADA came to the decision that changes had to be made to the structure of JADCO and indicated that there was a need to set out the role and functions of the members of the commission, and that of the executive director,” Williams said.
The decision, Williams explained, led to the repeal of the Anti-Doping Sport Act of 2008, under which JADCO was formed and the Anti-Doping Sport Act of 2014 introduced as its replacement. The main idea behind the change was to ensure that there was no undue interference by what is now the board of the commission with the role and the function of the executive director.
“I think, though, that it is fair to say that there was a misunderstanding about what the new law prescribed. While it is true that the board of the commission is not responsible for doping control, we are nonetheless required by law to monitor the administrative operations, which must include doping control, and, indeed the executive director is to have regard to the advice and recommendations given to him by the board,” the chairman said.
“While the board of the commission has no authority to interfere in complaints, the WADA Code, and JADCO’s own rules both require that before an appeal is commenced, a post-decision review should be undertaken and it is now determined by the board that this should be done by the executive director in consultation with the board. In this case, involving Mr. Russell, the simple fact is that there was no consultation with the board of the commission by the executive director prior to the appeal being lodged.”
Subsequent to this situation, the board has decided that the board would be notified of any complaint being lodged to the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and that prior to any appeal being pursued, the executive director must seek and obtain the approval of the board.