Friday, April 19, 2024

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Two-time Commonwealth senior weightlifting champion Ivorn McKnee has tested positive for a performance enhancing drug, and is facing a ban of up to four years from the sport.McKnee, 29, the 2008 National Sports Personality Of The Year, and his coach Andrew Callender, made the announcement yesterday at the Barbados Olympic Centre.Reading a prepared statement, McKnee said: “As you were just informed, I have tested for the banned substance stanozolol. As a result, I have been banned from the sport which I have dedicated and sacrificed so much to.“I would like to apologise to my family who has always supported me; my fellow weightlifters, especially the juniors who have always looked up to me as a role model; the weightlifting federation and all associations who have supported my career,” he read.McKnee said he sought to be a model athlete who brought glory to the island and cautioned athletes to be mindful of all supplements and follow the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines.“In December I changed the supplements I was taking. I guess it was a bad choice. We haven’t pinpointed what has caused the positive result, but once again, I take this opportunity to apologise to everyone.”Stanozolol, an anabolic steriod, is the substance Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for, leading to him being stripped of his gold medal in the 100 metres at Seoul 1988.Callender explained that on April 23 McKnee received an out-of-competition test which was administered here by the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO), and it came back positive. “It came as a surprise to me and a surprise to Ivorn. We asked for the ‘B’ sample and that also came back positive. With this situation, it leaves him now with a suspension of two to four years,” Callender said.“We are still trying to figure out what the problem is, but we are a small nation and to go any further is a very expensive task. We have opted not to go for the hearing in Hungary. That would be an expensive task. “At the moment we are sending information off to the appropriate people to get as much information to figure out what is the next step we should make.”Callender said McKnee had been tested throughout his career, and all of those tests were negative. He was not tested at his very first competition in 2005 and the Pan Am Weightlifting Championships in May.The last tests were in Malaysia last October during the Commonwealth Junior and Senior Weightlifting Championships where McKnee successfully defended his title in the 1106kg category. That test was also negative.McKnee revealed that he changed his supplements late last year. Making a push towards the London 2012 Olympic Games, he decided to try a new, high-end product which would work with the increased training hours.“It is difficult because I have put in roughly around five years of training. I was looking forward to Commonwealth and the Olympics in 2012. I guess it is life. I just have to pick myself up and go on from there,” McKnee said.The Barbados Weightlifting Federation has to pay a $11 000 fine and the International Weightlifting Federation has mandated that coach Callender part with McKnee.It would cost the federation $20 000 in the first instance to protest and review the results. Should they decide to go further, Callender said the junior development programmes could also suffer, and he is the only coach here.
• Former junior national record holder in the discus.• Three-time CARIFTA Games representative in the shot put and discus.• June 2005 – Began weightlifting at the Pan American Weightlifting Championships in Shereveport, Louisiana.• Attended 2006 Commonwealth Games, Australia.• 105kg champion at the 2006 Criollo International, Puerto Rico.• Attended 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil.• 105kg champion at the 2007 Criollo International, Puerto Rico.• 105kg silver medallist at the 2008 Criollo International, Puerto Rico.• 105kg champion at 2008 Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships, Cyprus• 2008 National Sports Personality.• Fifth at 2009 Pan American Weightlifting Championships.• 105kg champion at 2009 Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships, Malaysia• Fourth at the 2010 Pan American Weightlifting Championships, Guatemala


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