27-year old Bernice Wilson, of Lincolnshire, lost her appeal last week against the sanction imposed in July 2011 when she tested positive for two banned substances.
The result is a sign that UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) have tightened their belts in recent times. The ban received by Wilson by the disciplinary panel signifies the maximum punishment allowed under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code for a first time offence. On detection of both the anabolic steroid testosterone and clenbuterol, the mandatory two-year ban was doubled.
Wilson was little known until 2010 when she broke into the international circuit before qualifying for the European Indoors in March with a 7.25 second 60m personal best.
Earlier this month, she was accused of betrayal by the independent National Anti-Doping panel, who threw out her appeal, after cheating her way into the British team. They continued their criticism, saying Wilson was an “experienced and senior athlete” who saw herself as a role model to younger athletes. Far from admitting her guilt… she sought to blame other people,” said the panel in its ruling.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) is currently in the midst of a crusade to continue enforcing its eligibility rule, which states those who have served a WADA ban may not compete in the Games. For shamed sprinter Dwain Chambers, it is a waiting game before he will know whether he will don the GB vest and compete in the Stratford stadium this summer.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) are expected to give a verdict on the matter in April but as it currently stands any GB athlete who has previously served a ban will not appear at the Olympics; yet athletes from other countries who have previously been found guilty can.
Andy Parkinson, chief executive of UKAD, said the sentence sent a strong message. "It gives clean athletes the confidence we're working hard on their behalf, within the framework of the World Anti-Doping Code, to protect their right to compete in doping free sport."
What do you think of the BOA’s stand on drug cheats? Should they be banned for life or is four years long enough?