Williams pulls out of Worlds citing `long trip to Doha’

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Sprint sensation Briana Williams has withdrawn from Jamaica’s team for the IAAF World Championships starting in Doha, Friday, citing insufficient preparation time after escaping serious punishment on Thursday for a doping violation.The 17-year-old tested positive for a banned substance last June but a disciplinary panel ruled this week the action had not been deliberate and opted to reprimand her with “no period of ineligibility”, clearing her to join the national team already in Qatar.However, hours after the decision was handed down, the reigning double sprint World Junior champion announced she would not participate in the September 27 to October 6 games.“I have decided to forego competing at the World Championships considering the long trip to Doha and that the team has already started training for the relays,” Williams said.“I am just relieved and thankful after what has been a very emotional summer. I would like to once again express my gratitude to everyone right across Jamaica who reached out to show support.”Williams’ coach, former Olympic star Ato Boldon, had indicated Thursday she would be down to run the 100 metres. However, the preliminaries of the marquee event are scheduled to get underway at 16:30hrs today (08:30hrs, today Eastern Caribbean time), leaving Williams with a race against time.Williams, who has in successive years won triple gold in the sprints at the CARIFTA Championships in 2018 and 2019, said her focus was now on the Olympics in Tokyo next year.“I look forward to returning to the track for the 2020 season,” she said.“Hopefully, I still have a chance to make the trip to Doha to watch Jamaica compete. I would like to wish all our athletes and coaches the very best.”Jonielle Smith, 23, who won the 100 metres at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia last year, has replaced Williams in the sprints.Williams found herself at the centre of controversy when she tested positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide at the National Championships.She subsequently pleaded guilty and following a two-day hearing this week, the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel said “the athlete has established no significant fault or negligence as she was given tablets by her guardian and had no intention to cheat in her In-Competition sprint event on June 21, 2019.”last_img


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