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Carol considers appeal

By Mark Etheridge

Slapped with a two-year suspension after testing positive for a banned substance, Olympic canoeist Carol Joyce is considering appealing her banning.

Joyce, who represented South Africa at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, was this week handed a two-year ban after testing positive for banned steroid Nandrolone in an out-of-competition test.

Canoeing South Africa imposed the two-year ban, backdated to the date of the testing, 29 September 2009. This means that she will be able to compete again on 29 September 2011.

Joyce said in a statement shortly after the decision was made public: “I am devastated┬áby the decision of the Canoeing South Africa (CSA) tribunal. I have never taken a banned substance. I am innocent so this is a very bitter pill to swallow.

“After almost 12 months of investigations, tests and hearings, I was confident that I would be acquitted of the charge against me. There is a lot of uncertainty about the steroid┬áNandrolone, (a substance produced naturally by the body) and how it is metabolised in a variety of substances.

“By contrast, there was certainty on a number of other areas, such as: ┬áthe failure by the South African Institute for Drug-free Sports (SAIDS) to handle and transport my urine sample according to its own standards and rules and the failure by SAIDS to test my B sample in terms of its own rules. As a result of this, I have been denied objectivity, fairness, equity and justice.┬áI am in the process of considering the merits of an appeal.

“Whilst I endorse the objectives of SAIDS, I maintain, that where they fail to observe their own rules they should not be entitled to impose any sanction on an innocent athlete.

“I remain grateful to those friends who have┬ásupported me during this very difficult period in my life.”