Irish athlete hit with two-year ban for doping
Irish sprinter Steven Colvert has been banned from the sport for two years after he was found guilty of doping.
Colvert was tested on May 20, 2014 and subsequently suspended on June 17 of the same year. His two-year ban will commence from that date and he now has 21 days to appeal.
Colvert protested his innocence on Twitter tonight.
"Today is a sad day. After spending the last year trying to clear my name of the doping allegations, a decision has been made," tweeted Covert.
"Unfortunately the panel has found me guilty of doping. Something I have always been strongly against and will continue to stand against.
"Miscarriages of justice come in many forms, unfortunately this time it has involved me.
"I will be returning to the sport I love in September with my head held high safe in the knowledge that I have never doped.
"I would like to thank everyone whom has supported me in the last year. Unfortunately the result is not the one we were looking for.
"I know this result is just as disappointing for the supporters of Irish Athletics as it is for me.
"Once again I'd like to thank anyone who has supported me up until this point and to those that will continue to do so.
" I'm sure many people have various questions about different aspects of what is going on. I will continue my efforts to clear my name."
Athletics Ireland and the Irish Sports Council made the announcement this evening..
"Steven Colvert, a sprinter, has been sanctioned by a period of ineligibility of 2 years commencing on the 17th June 2014 – the date on which he was provisionally suspended, subject to rights of appeal within 21 days of today's date under the Irish Anti-Doping Rules," eread a joint statement.
"In an out of competition test carried out on 20th May 2014, he provided a sample which tested positive for the presence of a prohibited substance, recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO).
"The hearing was held on under Article 8 (Disciplinary Process) of the 2009 Irish Anti-Doping Rules and this announcement is made pursuant to Article 15 (Public Disclosure) of the Rules."