‘I didn’t un­der­stand sys­tem’

... Rus­sell tries to ex­plain where­abouts vi­o­la­tion

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT - Liv­ingston Scott

WEST INDIES crick­eter An­dré Rus­sell took the wit­ness stand in his where­abouts vi­o­la­tion hear­ing at the Ja­maica Con­fer­ence Cen­tre yes­ter­day.

How­ever, the hear­ing, which was sched­uled to end yes­ter­day, will re­sume on Tues­day with the cross-ex­am­i­na­tion of the all-rounder.

JADCO’s ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Carey Brown and where­abouts of­fi­cer Ta­jae Smith also gave tes­ti­monies.

Rus­sell’s lawyer, Pa­trick Foster, tried to prove that his client took all pos­si­ble steps to file his where­abouts in­for­ma­tion but found it dif­fi­cult, with his com­pact sched­ule and lim­ited knowl­edge and training, to up­date his where­abouts on JADCO’s ADAMS web­site.

“I tried to put in my where­abouts in­for­ma­tion but could not do it prop­erly,” Rus­sell stated.

Rus­sell said that he made fre­quent trips to JADCO to up­date his info and was usu­ally as­sisted by staff, in­clud­ing Smith.

How­ever, dur­ing his cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, JADCO’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Lack­ston Robin­son, ques­tioned Rus­sell’s knowl­edge of JADCO’s rules, guide­lines, and con­se­quences with re­gard to where­abouts fil­ing and tried to prove that Rus­sell knew of his fil­ing fail­ures and the laws that gov­ern such sit­u­a­tions. Robin­son ar­gued that the crick­eter should have acted more re­spon­si­bly in or­der to avoid his present predica­ment.

But Foster con­tin­ued to fo­cus on JADCO’s blun­der in their cor­re­spon­dence with the West In­dian all-rounder, who said that at one point, he grew con­fused with com­mu­niqués from JADCO af­ter re­peated at­tempts to up­date his where­abouts through his agent, Will Quinn, and West Indies Cricket Board rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ju­dith Lue.

Foster ar­gued that the anti-dop­ing agency did very lit­tle to ed­u­cate and train crick­eters on up­dat­ing their where­abouts in­for­ma­tion on the ADAMS web­site.

Rus­sell had en­listed Lue to as­sist with his where­abouts fil­ing in the April to June quar­ter, while in In­dia com­pet­ing, with the as­sis­tance of Smith, who, in his tes­ti­mony, ad­mit­ted giv­ing Lue in­struc­tions on up­dat­ing the sys­tem.

It was noted that Rus­sell con­tacted Smith to re­trieve his log-in de­tails be­fore pass­ing that in­for­ma­tion on to Lue, who then called Smith for guid­ance as it re­lates to nav­i­gat­ing the sub­mis­sion sys­tem.

Rus­sell did his where­abouts sub­mis­sion for Jan­uary to March on Fe­bru­ary 17.

How­ever, Foster noted that although Lue com­pleted the April to July up­date, it was not recorded on the sys­tem. As a re­sult the com­mis­sion erred by send­ing the crick­eter two fil­ing fail­ures in the same quar­ter.

He noted that the fil­ing fail­ure from July to Septem­ber did not clearly state that Rus­sell was in dan­ger. But he did re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tion from JADCO on July 6 to file his where­abouts by July 13, with a dead­line ex­ten­sion to the 24th.

THE EX­PLA­NA­TION

“The rules are clear: Where there are two fil­ing fail­ures in one quar­ter, no­ti­fi­ca­tion must be clear so the ath­lete knows he’s un­der threat,” Foster re­marked.

“The com­plainant does not have a proper thresh­old on the con­duct and meth­ods of the sys­tem, so there is no proper ba­sis for a sec­ond fil­ing fail­ure,” he in­sisted.

Rus­sell re­ceived an­other email on the 20th, but he only be­lieved it to be an ex­ten­sion of his first fil­ing fail­ure dead­line.

On his re­turn home, he vis­ited JADCO and up­dated his in­for­ma­tion, but on reach­ing home, he was pre­sented with a pack­age re­gard­ing his fil­ing fail­ures. Rus­sell shared that his rea­son for not meet­ing the Septem­ber 9 dead­line was be­cause Quinn told him to fo­cus on cricket as he (Quinn) would take care of it.

Foster also high­lighted the fact that the crick­eter had done nu­mer­ous dop­ing tests in other coun­tries around the world.

Ear­lier, JADCO ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Brown tes­ti­fied via tele­phone, how­ever, his tes­ti­mony was de­layed for about an hour af­ter JADCO rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robin­son protested Foster’s team’s use of the tele­phone, which is not al­lowed.

How­ever, af­ter get­ting con­sen­sus panel chair­man, Hugh Faulkner al­lowed Foster and his team to con­tinue us­ing their com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­vices.

RUS­SELL

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