ATTORNEY J Tyrone Marcus, representing a national cyclist who was stripped of his 2019 Pan Am Games medal, says no member of TT's successful cycling team tested positive for an anabolic steroid, masking agent, or "any other substance that may suggest an intention to cheat."
Marcus issued a media release, on Thursday, saying while the case is subject to an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the governing body, Pan Am Sports has already damaged the reputation of the national cyclists and by extension, the local sporting community.
"Pan Am Sports' premature disclosure has created increasing negative speculation regarding the integrity of the team, the team's coach (Erin Hartwell), the TT Cycling Federation and the local sporting community as a whole," Marcus wrote.
Team TTO enjoyed a record-breaking series of performances at last year's Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, where the sprint team won gold in record time. That medal, along with one individual gold medal, have been stripped from the team.
Marcus said he was compelled to inform the country that the substance in question, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, is described as a substance which is "more likely to have been consumed by an athlete for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance.
"In other words," Marcus continued, "no member of the team tested positive for an anabolic steroid, masking agent any other substance that may suggest an intention to cheat or to gain an unfair competitive advantage over his competitors."
He said while he can divulge no more information, the release became necessary due to the "unfortunate growing speculation regarding the team, the cycling programme, the persons associated with it, and the potential; such unfounded speculation has for the tarnishing of their good name and reputation.
"The current legal procedure must run its course and so no further comment will be made until the process so permits," he closed.
On December 27, Marcus issued his first media release on the matter, saying a key ingredient in the process of arbitration is the inherent confidentiality provision that has been crafted to protect against premature disclosure of any information that may form part of the judicial proceedings. He said it was unfortunate that Pan Am Sport has failed to respect such a feature of dispute resolution, "which has been entrenched in many global rules and regulations to promote fairness, equity and sporting justice."
Pan Am Sports issued a media release, saying it had been "very careful" with the issue of doping at Pan American Games in Lima, "respecting all the corresponding protocols and processes."
"After our executive committee meeting, we have officially approved the decisions of the disciplinary commission and the respective disqualifications of the athletes involved, and this has generated the changes we are reporting today. With this, we close the medal table of our Games," said Pan Am Sports secretary general Ivar Sisniega in the release.