Sprinter Semoy Hackett has been banned for six months for testing positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine at last August's National Track and Field Championships. The revelation was made by NAAA president Ephraime Serrette at a press conference at the NAAA office at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, yesterday. In making the announcement Serrette said Hackett has been hit with the minimum ban of six months given the argument she put forward and also that the offense was her first. The ban took effect on September 16 and comes to an end March 16 making the athlete eligible to compete thereafter. Serrette said Hackett was one of four winners at the Sagicor Open championships that were tested at random on August 13. The others were Annie Alexander, Richard Thompson and Quincy Wilson. The results of the trio returned negative. Serrette said Hackett revealed she had ingested a sport drink from a fellow athlete during the championships. "She had taken a drink of the beverage and unknown to her a supplement had been added and this turned to be the source of the stimulant. The other athlete was unaware that the supplement contained the substance." Serrette added that process took longer than normal as the athlete could not readily identify the source of the stimulant until she recalled taking the drink.
NAAA Secretary Allan Baboolal explained Hackett had indicated on the doping form on the day of the testing that she was on Cataflam and 'Mo Explode' . "We had taken samples of the two products and sent them to the labs but found that neither were the source of methylhexaneamine." He outlined the process explaining the tests were sent for analysis at Laboratory in Toronto Canada on August 17 and the results were returned on September 5 indicating that Hackett, the 100m champion was found with methylhexaneamine in her sample. Baboolal added that the association informed the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) of the outcome who then advised the NAAA to provisionally ban Hackett and launch an investigation. Baboolal said the IAAF returned the final report last Thursday.
Baboolal further explained that a committee headed by NAAA first vice president George Commissiong was set up. The committee, which included both Serrette and Baboobal and other executive members second vice president Dr Ian Hypolite, Paul Voisin, Dawn Washington and Robin Brereton, met with Hackett in October to hear her case. With the ban Hackett's time championships have been annulled. Also affected will be the national women's 4x100m of which Hackett was a team member. The squad's national record of 42.50 and fourth place finish at the World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea will be discredited. Hackett will, however, not lose her CAC 100 gold she captured in Puerto Rico in July. Methylhexamine, which goes by trade names Geranamine and Floradrene, is a mild stimulant with a safety profile similar to caffeine. It was used originally as a nasal decongestant and was banned by the World Anti-doping Agency in 2010. Several other athletes have tested positive for the stimulant, including several Jamaican sprinters in 2009, who were subsequently sanctioned by the Jamaican sports federation.