The IAAF has noted reports that have emerged from the United States in the last few days claiming that it tried to cover up the CJ Hunter case at the time of the Sydney Olympic Games. Given the very serious nature of this allegation, the IAAF wishes to put the record straight.
CJ Hunter tested positive 4 times for the prohibited substance, nandrolone, in the summer of 2000. The IAAF informed USATF of the first of these results on 11 August 2000. IAAF’s standard procedures were followed and an explanation for the finding was sought from the athlete. No explanation was forthcoming within the given deadline and the IAAF suspended the athlete by letter to USATF on 24 August 2000, the day before he was due to compete at the Golden League meeting in Brussels.
On 25 August 2000, the day of the Brussels competition, the IAAF received a late and unsigned explanation provided by USATF on the athlete’s behalf. IAAF Officials present in Brussels sought a face to face meeting with the athlete to discuss his case and the IAAF procedures involved and he was eventually allowed to compete there pending a review of his explanation by the IAAF Anti-Doping Commission. The Anti-Doping Commission reviewed and rejected the explanation on 30 August 2000 and the IAAF wrote to USATF later the same day confirming that the athlete was suspended pending the resolution of his case. The information regarding the suspension was published in the next edition of IAAF News.
Since it is clear that the IAAF, in accordance with its Rules, suspended CJ Hunter and prevented him from competing in Sydney, it categorically denies that there was any attempt to cover up the case.
The IAAF is also perplexed by the timing of the Hunter comments and attempts made in some quarters to draw parallels between his case and that of the “unidentified” Sydney athlete, now confirmed to be Jerome Young. There are no such parallels to be drawn. The unidentified athlete tested positive in a domestic US test that was never reported to the IAAF, was cleared of a doping offence by an opinion of a USATF Appeals Board that was never reported to the IAAF and went to Sydney, competed and won a medal at the Olympic Games. CJ Hunter, on the other hand, tested positive in an IAAF test, was suspended by the IAAF in accordance with its Rules and was prevented from competing in the Olympic Games. Furthermore, CJ Hunter, unlike Young, never competed again after Sydney. He was banned for 2 years in March 2001 and has since retired.