Jamaican sprinter Steve Mullings could be banned for life after being found guilty of a second doping offence
Jamaica’s Steve Mullings will find out his punishment on Monday after being found guilty of a second doping offence.
The sprinter tested positive for the substance furosemide, a masking agent, at the Jamaican Trials back in June, where he finished first in the 200m and third in the 100m, just one hundredth of a second behind Yohan Blake, who went on to win the world title in Daegu.
Mullings was taken off the Jamaican team for the World Championships and provisionally suspended, pending today’s hearing in Kingston. The three-man Jamaica Anti-Doping disciplinary panel was satisfied with the evidence and said Mullings’ – who was not present at the hearing – failed to prove that any breach had occurred.
It was Mullings’ second career doping offence. As a college student in 2004 – a year in which his times improved from 10.28/20.36 to wind-assisted sub-10 and sub-20 clockings – he was found to have elevated levels of testosterone and was banned for two years.
A couple years after his return, Mullings joined Lance Brauman’s stable – a training group that includes American record-holder Tyson Gay. Mullings gradually improved and made the 2009 world 200m final, finishing fifth with a personal best of 19.98.
His upward curve continued and he made a significant breakthrough over 100m this year. Having never before dipped under 10 seconds with legal wind, Mullings broke that barrier on seven occasions, his fastest being a 9.80 clocking at the Pre Classic in Eugene.
He also finished a close second to Usain Bolt in Ostrava and beat his training partner Gay at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York.
Mullings’ last competitive appearance was at the Terra Sarda meeting in Arzana, Italy, where he won a sprint double in 9.93 and 20.22.
Under IAAF and WADA rules, two doping offences incur a lifetime ban. There is, however, a precedent for more lenient sentences, with the likes of Justin Gatlin returning to action after four years, despite two doping offences.