20 January 2012
UK Anti-Doping has confirmed that Bernice Wilson has been given a four-year suspension following an anti-doping rule violation.
Ms Wilson tested positive for the anabolic steroids testosterone and clenbuterol on 12 June 2011 and was provisionally suspended from all competition on 9 July 2011. Ms Wilson is banned from participation in sport up to and including 8 July 2015. An independent National Anti-Doping Panel found that this case warranted the maximum sanction of a four-year ban. Ms Wilson appealed, and the Appeal panel confirmed the four-year ban.
In its decision, the first National Anti-Doping Panel found that Ms Wilson, an ‘experienced and senior athlete’ who saw herself as a role model to younger athletes, tested positive for more than one prohibited substance, describing this as a ‘very bad case of doping’, and that ‘far from admitting her guilt... she sought to blame other people’, which led to her receiving the maximum four-year ban. The Appeal Panel confirmed that the sanction applied by the first panel was the correct sanction in the circumstances.
The World Anti-Doping Code provides the basis for a ban to be increased beyond the standard two years, if there are ‘aggravating circumstances’. These include an athlete possessing or using more than one Prohibited Substance, using more than one Prohibited Substance over a period of time, and engaging in ‘deceptive conduct’ to avoid adjudication.
UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Andy Parkinson said: “We have successfully argued for a four-year ban which demonstrates that UK Anti-Doping always seeks robust sanctions against athletes who look to cheat the system and betray those around them.
“This sends a strong message to anyone looking to dope in the UK and gives clean athletes the confidence that we are working hard on their behalf, within the framework of the World Anti-Doping Code, to protect their right to compete in doping-free sport.”
The full written decision is available on the UK Anti-Doping website at www.ukad.org.uk/violations/