IAN KEVIN RAMDHANIE
Caribbean Institute for Security
and Public Safety
T&T runner Semoy Hackett will be eligible to compete in official athletics competitions after her 28-month ban comes to an end in April, next year.
This was confirmed by the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) in a press release, yesterday.
Hackett’s anti-doping hearing was to be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s New York branch but a settlement was reached between Hackett’s lawyers and those of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in February. Because of a confidentiality provision in the settlement, the NAAA said it was unable to give details apart from when the ban will conclude.
“As a result of a confidentiality provision, details of the agreement were never made known to the public and, for the most part, will continue to remain confidential,” the release, signed by NAAA public relations officer, Peter Samuel, was quoted.
It added: “Notwithstanding this, the parties have agreed that due to the ongoing queries and in light of public interest (and) considerations, it would be appropriate, at least, to disclose the key element of the settlement, which was the period of ineligibility to be served by Ms Hackett.
The sanction accepted by Ms Hackett was a ban lasting two years and four months ending on April 30, 2015. It means that Ms Hackett will once again be eligible to compete from May 1, 2015.
In concluding, the release stated that the NAAA will continue to play its part in promoting drug-free sport for all athletes and said it looks forward to the pending operationalisation of the T&T Anti-Doping Organisation (TTADO), which was formed pursuant to the Anti-Doping In Sport Act 2013. In June, 2012, Hackett tested positive for methylhexaneamine (MHA) at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. It was the second time Hackett tested positive for MHA.
She served a six-month ban, following the 2011 T&T Championships.
She was then suspended by the NAAA, after the second offense, but the local governing body for athletics lifted the sanction.
Last year, Hackett was scheduled to participate at the World Championships after qualifying from the local championship.
However, she left the competition after the IAAF appealed the NAAA’s decision to allow Hackett to compete. The NAAA was subsequently criticised by Sports Minister Anil Roberts as the matter “brought the country into international disrepute”.
Hackett, 25, represented T&T at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.