Olympics: St. Kitts sprinter sent home in drugs case
LONDON—St. Kitts and Nevis record sprinter Tameka Williams has been sent home from the Olympics after admitting taking a banned substance, officials said Sunday.
Williams, 22, the Caribbean country’s 100m and 200m record-holder, did not fail a drugs test but made the revelation during discussions over vitamins and nutritional supplements, an official told AFP.
“We always ask for each athlete to declare whatever vitamins, supplements, nutrition their using,” said Dennis Knight, vice president of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Olympic Committee.
“Everyone is required to declare what they’re using. She declared it in the environment of having that ongoing discussion and training in the camp with management every day.”
“You have all sorts of professionals and experts coming in to speak with them… and it was in that kind of environment that she said to management that she has been using this substance,” he added.
Williams marched in Friday’s opening ceremony but flew out the following day. Knight would not reveal what substance was involved, and denied the country was trying to shield Williams from sanctions.
The matter has been reported to the international Olympic, anti-doping and athletics bodies, who “will do what they have to do”, he said.
Knight added that Williams, who was her seven-strong team’s only female athlete, had passed a random dope test during the national Olympic trials in June.
“This is a young woman, she’s 22. She’s been coming on very well. I would think she may have another two Olympic Games under her belt,” Knight said.
“We think it’s necessary to do whatever we can to assist her in having her career go forward. It may not feel that way to her because she’s been sent home.”
He said the country would carry out further investigations before deciding what action to take.
“Of course I can imagine an investigation will have to be carried out: was this the only thing she was using, was anyone else involved, before we can decide on relevant action,” he said.
Williams is the third athlete sent home over doping cases at the Games after Uzbek gymnast Luiza Galiulina and Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku, who both failed tests for banned substances.
More than a dozen athletes have also been expelled for pre-competition offenses.
The World Anti-Doping Authority has said London will be the most stringently policed Games yet with more than 6,000 tests carried out during the event.