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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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PRESIDENT OF the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), Brian Lewis, remains fully focussed on this nation’s dawning Olympic campaign amidst recent speculations of a possible medal upgrade following reports of Jamaica’s Nesta Carter returning a positive drug test from samples taken at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China.

According to several international media reports yesterday, Carter’s ‘A’ sample was one of 454 others which were retested from the 2008 Games, but found to contain the banned substance, methylhexanamine.

Carter ran Jamaica’s opening leg of their golden and world record-breaking (37.10 seconds) Men’s 4x100m Relay performance, pipping TT into second spot.

Although this matter is still being investigated thoroughly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Carter could face sanctions only if his ‘B’ sample also tests positive for the substance.

This process should be completed within seven days.

If he does in fact tests positive once more, the entire Jamaica team (Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Micahel Frater, Carter) will be stripped of their medal. Such an instance would automatically give way for a medal upgrade for TT , from silver to gold, while Japan ascends into runners-up position and Brazil into third spot.

However, while TT could be on the verge of becoming another historic Olympic gold recipient, Lewis admitted that no official correspondence from the IOC has been relayed on this particular matter, much less a medal upgrade.

“It’s a bit premature for the TTTO C to speculate,” said Lewis yesterday. “We haven’t received any communication from the IOC in terms of that because there is still a process that must be completed.

We have received from the IOC though, notification that they would be extending the reanalysing process to all the medallists from 2008 to 2012. It’s still very much in the early stages. I’ve noticed the reports (via social media) but we can’t really comment on this matter without receiving concrete information from the IOC.” Lewis though, opted to maintain his focus on the approaching Rio Games.

“We continue to focus on preparing for Rio,” he added. “It’s just about 60 days to go and we are very much in preparation mode with training camps and finding the necessary funding for the campaign.

At this stage in the game, we tend to focus on what we can control. All distractions must now be put aside to be honest. At some point, there will be a determination, and it is at that point, we will gladly pay attention. But until such time, we have to focus solely on Rio.” The former Harvard rugby club representative also commended the IOC on their efforts to catch drug cheats. Lewis was fully supportive of the global Olympic body holding on to drug test samples for a duration of 10 years so they could be retested later on with newer technologies.

“They (IOC) have levelled the playing field as much as possible and been very transparent with it. They are looking at who is eligible to participate in 2016. The IOC should be commended for taking a strong and zero tolerance stance. The TTO C will always put great emphasis on anti-doping, education and awareness,” Lewis concluded.

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