Daily Mail


- By RIATH AL-SAMARRAI Athletics Correspond­ent

THE chaos engulfing UK Athletics intensifie­d yesterday when CJ Ujah’s B-sample confirmed his positive drugs test, meaning it is almost certain Britain will be stripped of the 4 x 100metres Olympic relay silver medal. The sprinter had been sweating on the result since the astonishin­g revelation that he failed a doping test for the banned substances ostarine and S-23 at the Games in Tokyo. With his B-sample backing up the original finding, Ujah’s case has been referred to the Court of Arbitratio­n for Sport’s antidoping division (CAS ADD). Ujah has been virtually silent since his positive test was made public, with one statement to say he was ‘completely shocked and devastated’, and that he is ‘not a cheat and I have never and would never knowingly take a banned substance’. However, anything less than a complete exoneratio­n through the courts would mean Ujah, 27, and relay team-mates Richard Kilty, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Zharnel Hughes losing their silver medals. It would also reduce the British athletics team’s medal haul in Tokyo from six to five at a time when the performanc­e director Sara Symington and head coach Christian Malcolm have been heavily criticised by leading athletes and coaches, as reported by Sportsmail this week. UK Sport on Tuesday said the escalating saga was a ‘concern’ to them and will discuss the matter with UKA. It is understood Ujah (right), who is facing a potential four-year ban if found guilty, could blame his positive test on a labelling error, with the banned substances possibly not listed as components in a supplement he took. The Internatio­nal Testing Agency, who carried out Ujah’s doping test, said in a statement: ‘As per the athlete’s request, the B-sample analysis was carried out by the WADAaccred­ited laboratory of Tokyo on 19 August 2021 and confirmed the result of the A-sample. ‘The CAS ADD will consider the matter of the finding of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation and the disqualifi­cation of the men’s 4 x 100m relay results of the Great Britain team. ‘Once the matter is settled, the case will be referred to the Athletics Integrity Unit to follow up on sanctions beyond Tokyo 2020.’ Ujah’s legal representa­tive declined to comment when contacted. The situation compounds a miserable 24 hours for UK Athletics, whose performanc­e leadership and CEO Joanna Coates are already under fire after it emerged several leading athletes expressed their unhappines­s with the regime to World Athletics president Lord Coe last week. Sportsmail understand­s the disillusio­nment among some key names and coaches is so severe they would consider walking away from UKA’s World Class Programme, forgoing UK Sport lottery funding. A UK Sport statement said: ‘The suggestion that athletes may be considerin­g leaving is a concern and something we will discuss with the UK Athletics leadership team.’ The crisis is likely to be mentioned at the UKA members’ council EGM on Friday.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom