Whistle-blower White says she faces backlash

  • Other Sport
  • Friday, 21 May 2004

LOS ANGELES: Disgraced sprinter Kelli White's decision to cooperate with anti-doping officials in their efforts to smoke out drug cheats has already drawn fire, the 27-year-old American said on Wednesday. 

“I have already gotten negative reaction to my decision by some of the people I once trusted the most,” White said in a statement issued by her attorney, Jerrold Colton. 

“Unfortunately, sometimes you discover people you thought were your friends actually are not. I have my family and a close knit group of people who will stick by me. I know I am doing the right thing.” 

Not only has White admitted cheating, she has agreed to assist the US Anti-Doping Agency in its efforts to clean up sport, said the USADA statement announcing her ban. 

WHITE: 'Sometimes you discover people you thought were your friends actually are not'.

According to the statement released by Colton, “White has decided not to run, fight or retire from the truth.” 

Colton noted that White will be a witness not only in USADA proceedings but also in court cases, and he intimated that, as a whistle-blower, White might find herself the target of worse than negative comments. 

“The US Attorney's office has informed us they consider this a very serious matter, and will respond immediately if her safety is threatened or compromised in any way,” Colton said. 

White, who won the 100m and 200m at last year's athletics World Championships in Paris, accepted a two-year ban for a first offence “involving the use of prohibited performance-enhancing substances and doping methods including undetectable steroids and erythropoietin (EPO),” the USADA said. 

While White has tested positive for the banned stimulant modafinil, the evidence that resulted in her sanction came, in part, from documents relating to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) investigation. 

Four men linked to BALCO have pleaded innocent to charges of distributing steroids.  

The US Senate Commerce Committee provided information from the case to USADA with the aim of finding out if they contain enough evidence to weed out drug cheats before any potentially embarrassing revelations at the Athens Olympics in August. 

Among the athletes to testify in the BALCO investigation was superstar Marion Jones, winner of three gold and two bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. 

Jones says she never received banned drugs from BALCO founder Victor Conte, and vowed to fight in court any attempt to tar her as a drug cheat in the absence of a positive dope test – which she has never had. – AFP 

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