British sprinter Wilson banned for four years following failed drugs test
Banned: Bernice Wilson
British sprinter Bernice Wilson has had a four-year ban confirmed after losing an appeal against the sanction imposed following her positive test for two anabolic steroids.
Wilson, 27, from Lincolnshire, broke into the British team last year and competed at the European indoor championships in Paris in March but tested positive for testosterone and clenbuterol on June 12.
An independent National Anti-Doping Panel handed out a four-year ban which Wilson appealed against, and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has confirmed she had lost her appeal.
UKAD chief executive Andy Parkinson said: 'We have successfully argued for a four-year ban which demonstrates that UK Anti-Doping always seeks robust sanctions against athletes who look to cheat the system and betray those around them.
'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, within the framework of the World Anti-Doping Code, to protect their right to compete in doping-free sport.'
A first doping offence normally carries a two-year suspension but it can be increased to four years for 'aggravating circumstances' including if an athlete tests positive for more than one banned substance.
In its decision, the National Anti-Doping Panel said Wilson was an 'experienced and senior athlete' who saw herself as a role model to younger athletes.
'Far from admitting her guilt… she sought to blame other people,' said the panel in its ruling.
The appeal panel confirmed the four-year ban, said Wilson's arguments were 'entirely without merit' and ordered her to pay UK Anti-Doping's costs of the appeal.
Wilson had been almost unknown in athletics until 2010 and qualified for the European indoors in Paris with a personal best 60 metres time of 7.25 seconds.
Olympics minister Hugh Robertson in the anti-doping laboratory in Harlow on Thursday
Drug cheats have been warned they
will be caught at next summer's Olympics and Paralympics as London 2012
unveiled 'the most high-tech' laboratory in the history of the Games.
Up to 6,250 samples will be tested by 150 scientists working at the 24-hour anti-doping facility in Harlow, Essex.
All Olympic medallists will have to submit a urine sample and there will be around 1,000 blood tests.
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport
and the Olympics, said: 'This is about integrity and the integrity of
London's Games. Everyone wants to know what they are seeing in front of
them is a true and fair contest.'