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Jade Jones avoids ban over no-fault doping violation

11 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Jade Jones. Photo Martin Rickett PA Images

Double Olympic taekwondo champion Jade Jones has escaped sanction after being found to have committed a no-fault doping violation following her failure to provide a urine sample in December last year.

The UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) confirmed that on the basis of “very exceptional circumstances” relating to confidential medical records, Jones bears “no fault or negligence for her refusal or failure to submit to her sample collection”.

The ruling means the 31-year-old is able to pursue her quest for a third Olympic medal as part of a four-strong Great Britain taekwondo team in Paris later this month.

Jones failed to provide a sample to an official who arrived at her hotel in Manchester early on December 1, signing a document to say she was unable to do so due to undergoing dehydration training prior to a weigh-in.

Later that same day, she provided a sample to a separate tester, which proved negative.

Jones said in a statement: “I understand and accept UKAD’s decision.

“At the moment this started, I didn’t grasp the situation I was in and what could happen. I gave a negative sample later that day, but it’s clear I made a mistake that morning.

“What I understand now is not just the mistake I made but the reasons it happened and that there could have been different consequences.

“I want to thank UKAD for listening and seeing the circumstances and GB Taekwondo for their support. I’m grateful that my actions have been properly understood and that I can continue to compete.”

Stressed

Jones, who said she had been “stressed and panicked” on the morning of the missed test due to her impending competition, was informed by UKAD on December 14 she was subject to a provisional suspension.

UKAD subsequently imposed its no-fault ruling on the basis of a report by a consultant psychiatrist who confirmed that Jones’s “decision to refuse or failure to provide a sample occurred as a direct result of her cognitive impairment”.

Jones won her first Olympic gold medal at London 2012 at the age of just 19 and followed it up by successfully defending her title in Rio four years later.

Despite adding her first world title in Manchester in 2019, Jones could not make it three Olympic titles in a row as she lost in the last 16 to Kimia Alizadeh of the Refugee Team in Tokyo.

GB Taekwondo chief executive Paul Buxton said: “GB Taekwondo commends UKAD’s thorough process, respects the outcome and reaffirms that we have every confidence in Jade.

“She’s been clear about what happened on that day, candid when sharing the conditions which affected her decision-making and provided a negative sample later that afternoon.

“Jade accepts UKAD’s decision and is fully committed to clean sport.”


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