Baptiste free to compete after doping ban lifted.

Sprinter Kelly-Ann Baptiste is eligible to compete again.

Baptiste had been banned after testing positive for a prohibited substance. The sample was collected in April 2013.

Like her training partner, American Tyson Gay, Baptiste cooperated with a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation. But while Gay served a one-year ban, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) appealed an August 12, 2014 decision by the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) disciplinary panel to lift the ban on Baptiste. At that point, Trinidad and Tobago’s Florida-based sprint queen had already served a 16-month period of ineligibility.

NAAA president Ephraim Serrette told the Express, yesterday, that the IAAF’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was ruled on earlier this month. However, in a press release from public relations officer Peter Samuel, the NAAA said details of the CAS settlement will not be made public.

“The National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) can confirm that the Kelly-Ann Baptiste case has been resolved before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”), based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“Further to the confidentiality provisions applicable to the proceedings, the Award of the CAS will not be made public. However, the NAAA can confirm that Ms Baptiste is free to return to competition with immediate effect.”

Serrette said that his interpretation of the CAS ruling is that the earlier decision of the NAAA disciplinary panel to lift the ban on Baptiste was “a correct decision”.

“We acted in accordance with precedent set, and we would have been correct. It’s very unfair to Kelly-Ann.”

However, chairman of the NAAA disciplinary panel, sports lawyer J Tyrone Marcus told the Express “it might be a bit too premature to say” Baptiste was unjustly treated, based on the one-year ban handed to Gay.

“It’s still early days. More time has to pass, and more substantial assistance cases heard, so that a trend can be recognised.”

Baptiste is expected to be stripped of the two national records she had established at the 2013 National Championships. She clocked 10.83 seconds in the 100m final and 22.36 in the 200m championship race. If those two marks are annulled, Baptiste’s next best 100m clocking, 10.84 seconds would return to the record books, while Semoy Hackett’s 22.55 run from May 26, 2012 would be recognised as the national 200m record.

Hackett is currently serving a doping ban, and will be eligible to compete again on May 1.