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THE SIDELINES : Appeal Panel Clears Relay Track Champ McKay in Stimulant Case

May 29, 1990|From Times Wire Services

INDIANAPOLIS — Antonio McKay, a two-time Olympic relay gold medalist suspended by The Athletics Congress for three months for using stimulants, has been cleared by an appeals panel of TAC.

McKay tested positive in January for the banned stimulant phenylpropanalomine at a level of 29 micrograms per milliliter. Any level above 1 is considered positive.

Charles DesJardins, chairman of the three-person panel, was quoted in USA Today as saying part of McKay's defense was that neither he nor his doctor realized that medication prescribed for the flu contained the banned substance.

New rules adopted by the sport's national governing body contain a provision that such ignorance is not a valid excuse.

"I cannot understand how they overturned the decision to suspend," TAC President Frank Greenburg was quoted by the newspaper. "This would set a very bad precedent."

But DesJardins said, "We don't believe we're setting a precedent. We made a decision on facts that are unique and that we thought were not sufficient to find McKay guilty."

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