Hutchinson: Baptiste scandal a ‘sad situation’
By STEPHON NICHOLAS Monday, August 12 2013
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Local sprint queen and Sportswoman of the Year, Kelly-Ann Baptiste...
Former national sprinter, Ayanna Hutchinson, has described the reported positive drug test by local sprint queen and Sportswoman of the Year, Kelly-Ann Baptiste, as a “sad situation.”
Baptiste, the reigning 100m and 200m national champion, was forced to withdraw from the ongoing 2013 World Championships in Moscow on Saturday, after a suspected positive drug test.
Fellow female sprinter Semoy Hackett also had to leave after the IAAF queried the National Association of Athletics Administration’s handling of a second positive test by Hackett and decided to pursue the matter at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Hutchinson, a three-time Olympian, represented this country alongside Baptiste and Hackett in the 4x100m event at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympics and was also a member of the national quartet at the 2009 Berlin World Championships which set a new national record.
“It’s a sad situation right now. We don’t have any confirmation why she (Baptiste) left (the World Championships) because no one has issued a statement on it. If it is linked to a positive drug test then it’s really sad,” the 35-year-old declared.
Hutchinson was adamant yesterday that having befriended and interacted with Baptiste for close to a decade, she does not believe the Tobago athlete would take a performance enhancing drug.
“Knowing Kelly a number of years, she doesn’t strike me as someone who would do this. If true, though, it’s a sad day for women’s sport in Trinidad and Tobago,” she continued.
“Kelly is a really generous person, honest, and always looking to get the best out of others and herself. If there is a problem she will try and fix it and get the best resolution,” the former CAC Junior silver medallist added.
Hutchinson admitted, though, that as a former athlete, she would find it very difficult to forgive someone who knowingly takes a performance enhancing drug.
“I like to give second chances but if an athlete knowingly takes an enhancer, it would be difficult for me to warrant giving them a second chance because that is cheating. If it is done without knowing then of course everyone deserves a second opportunity,” she stated.
Asked how the premature and shocking exit of the TT duo from the ‘Worlds’ would affect the other TT athletes, Hutchinson believes only the relay team is likely to feel an adverse effect.
“The other athletes are all professionals and they know why they are there. The 4x100m female team will be most affected but these are the times where someone needs to step up (in their absence). It can play on your emotions but you have to do what you came there for,” she explained.
Commenting on the likely local public reaction to the drug scandal, Hutchinson said, “It’s going to have its negative (views).
People who know her (Baptiste) nature and character will support her. The nay- sayers and haters and those who don’t know track and field and the intricacies of drug testing will feel betrayed,” she acknowledged.
“In athletics there are just certain things that you have to deal with. Each person is responsible for themselves. If it’s accidentally taken then people may forgive,” she concluded.