Rodgers who was down to compete in both the men’s 100 metres and the 4×100-metre relay, tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine following a meet in Italy in July.
According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), however, Rodgers is maintaining his innocence and claims that he did not intentionally ingest the prohibited substance but decided to withdraw from the championships out of fairness to the other athletes competing so that they may do so without the distraction of his positive test. Rodgers was third in the 100 metres at the US national trials in June, finishing behind Michael Dix and Justin Gatlin.
Meanwhile, Rodgers’ lawyer, David Greifinger, has indicated to USADA that he will continue to investigate the cause of his client’s test and will decide, with his client, on the next step.
Already significantly weakened by the absence of American record holder Tyson Gay, who misses the championships after undergoing hip surgery in June, Rogers’ absence adds another blow to the US men’s sprint team in Daegu. Other than Gay’s 9.79, Rodgers was the second-fastest American sprinter this season and fourth fastest in the world by virtue of his 9.85-second run for second place in Eugene Oregon in early June.
Incidentally, Steve Mullings of Jamaica beat Rodgers in that race stopping the clock at 9.80 seconds, the third-fastest time this year. Mullings faces a life ban from the sport after his urine sample taken at the Jamaican national championships in late June, turned up traces of Furosemide, considered by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a masking agent. Mullings is maintaining his innocence despite both his ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples returning positive for the prohibited substance.
It is the athlete’s second major offence after failing a drug test in 2004 at the national championships to select Jamaica’s team to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He was banned for two years for elevated levels of testosterone.
A hearing of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Agency’s disciplinary panel is being convened in Kingston tomorrow to decide Mullings’ fate.