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Mackey out of world championships after reported positive test

SHELDON LONGLEY
Guardian Sports Editor
slongley@nasguard.com

Published: Aug 12, 2013

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MOSCOW, Russia – These 14th International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships couldn’t have started off any worse for The Bahamas, as according to reports over the weekend, one of the country’s top sprinters tested positive for a banned substance, and is not here in Moscow.

The alleged positive test stemmed from the BTC National Track and Field Championships in Freeport, Grand Bahama in June.

Trevorvano Mackey, who was scheduled to run the 200 meters (m) here in Moscow, Russia, and was a key contributor to the men’s sprint relay team, is the athlete to have reportedly tested positive, this according to top Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) officials.

When contacted this past weekend, BAAA President Mike Sands said that it is unfortunate and he is truly disappointed, but as a country, they are prepared to move on and not let it damper the spirits of Team Bahamas. Sands stopped short of outlining the details of the unfortunate occurrence, but said that it is something that the BAAA is truly disturbed about. He admitted that they received an adverse report from the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) but reserved further comment until an official investigation takes place. He added that the focus is on the positive side of the athletes here in Moscow, and he remains hopeful that the country’s 25-member team will stay focused on their respective events and what they came here to do.

Mackey, who is reportedly back in Nassau, posted on his facebook page that it was a minor setback for a major comeback. According to reports, he was totally unaware of the substance that he consumed and is deeply saddened. He reportedly said that he is accepting the results, and will just chalk this up as a learning experience.

Mackey, who is just 21-years-old, will be forced to accept any IAAF ban imposed on him. This unfortunate turn of events is the second mishap to plague the men’s sprint relay team. Early last month, national record holder in the men’s 100m Derrick Atkins announced that he re-aggravated a back injury at the nationals and would skip the world championships.

Now with Mackey’s unfortunate situation, only four Bahamian male sprinters are left here in Moscow – Shavez Hart, Warren Fraser, Adrian Griffith and Warren Fraser. They might have to rely on the help of quarter-miler Michael Matthieu to make it to the final of the men’s 4x100m.

Hart, who failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s 100m on Saturday, said that he is still confident in the relay team.

“I’m certain we could still perform well,” he said. “We have a deep line-up so we just have to go out there now, and show our depth. We’re going to miss Derrick and Trevor, but I’m confident that we could still perform well.”

Head Coach George concurs.

“This is no time to hang our heads down. With two of our top guys out, it weakens us tremendously but we have alternates who are ready and they are going to have to go out there and perform,” said Cleare. “At this level, we can’t give excuses. They’re going to have to put The Bahamas on their chest, and run with pride.

“If they give us their best, that’s going to be good enough for me. We have a lot of new guys, and they are going to have to learn and get that experience. We’re going to put our best team out there and give The Bahamas and the world our best performance.”

Mackey’s unfortunate removal from the World Championships’ team came at the most inopportune time. The squad was starting to run extremely well, breaking the national record not once, but twice at the Sr. Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships in Morelia, Mexico last month. They turned some heads in winning the gold medal there, but now the team looks shaky, and this latest mishap continues a string of positive tests for the region, in athletics, over the past six months.

Two-time Olympic Champion in the half-lap event Veronica Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned diuretic, five other Jamaicans including former world record holder Asafa Powell and former Olympic relay gold medalist Sherone Simpson, received positive tests from the Jamaican National Championships, and the fastest man in the world this year, American Tyson Gay, tested positive for a banned substance at an out-of-competition testing.

Also, Trinidadians Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Aaron Armstrong are on their way back home from the world championships, after Baptiste failed a drug test, and Armstrong missed two mandatory tests.

As for Mackey, he has the option of having his ‘B’ sample tested if it comes to that. Afterwards, he would have to wait to see how stringent the IAAF would be in relation to the severity of any punishment issued.

 


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