GB sprinter Bernice Wilson banned for four years

USA's Gloria Asumnu (centre) narrowly beats Great Britains Bernice Wilson (centre right) during the final of the womens 60metres final during the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2011. See PA story ATHLETICS Birmingham. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
USA's Gloria Asumnu (centre) narrowly beats Great Britains Bernice Wilson (centre right) during the final of the womens 60metres final during the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2011. See PA story ATHLETICS Birmingham. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

SPRINTER Bernice Wilson has received a four-year athletics ban.

The 27-year-old – who represented Great Britain over 60m in the European Indoor Championships in Paris last year – failed in her appeal after testing positive for steroids clenbuterol and testosterone.

The ban leaves Wilson’s London 2012 dreams in tatters, but UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson believed it was important to make an example of her as the Olympic Games come to England this summer.

He said: “This sends a strong message to anyone looking to dope in the UK and gives clean athletes the confidence that we are working hard on their behalf... to protect their right to compete in a doping free sport.”

Wilson, from Wyberton, tested positive for the two substances after competing at the Bedfordshire International Games in June last year

She was provisionally banned from all competitions on July 9.

Wilson appealed the ban, stating her sample had been ‘contaminated’.

“Evidence suggests testing procedures were not kept under the official rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency and IAAF (International Amateur Athletics Federation),” said a statement on her behalf.

“The incomplete and insufficient way the testing procedure was carried out allowed the sample to be contaminated.”

However, the first Anti-Doping panel stated that this was a ‘very bad case of doping’ and that ‘far from admitting her guilt... she sought to blame other people’.

The appeals panel upheld the original judgement.

The World Anti-Doping Agency suggests a standard two-year ban for doping offences, although this can be extended in certain circumstances – such as more than one substance being used.

The ban runs until July 8, 2015.

Wilson is no-longer employed by East Lindsey District Council, where she worked as a sports development officer.

The ban has also seen Wilson lose her funding from the Lincolnshire Sports Partnership.

Janet Inman, LSP chief executive said: “Bernice was a valued member of LEAP (the Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme) and an inspiration to many younger athletes on the programme.

“We are very disappointed with Bernice’s actions.”

Wilson and her coach Dr George Skafidas both declined to comment to The Standard.

Last year, Wilson spoke about the personal sacrifices she made to make the GB squad, including self-imposed bans on alcohol and fried food, combined with a strict diet and training regime.