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Hackett's LSU forfeit title over drug test

By Kern De Freitas kern.defreitas@trinidadexpress.com

A cloud is again hanging over Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Semoy Hackett after her school, Louisiana State University (LSU) had to vacate their 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championship title due to the sprinter's positive drug test.

LSU reported on their website on Friday that the team have forfeited their title, because NCAA rules state that "any team that competes with an ineligible athlete is required to forfeit participation in the championship of its respective sport".

The substance, the stimulant Methylhexaneamine that is commonly found in over-the-counter nutritional supplements, is the same one that saw her banned for six months from September 16 last year to March 19 2012 after a positive test at last year's National Track and Field Championships on August 13.

"I've been informed I tested positive for a banned stimulant at the NCAA Championships last year, which has resulted in the LSU team vacating the NCAA Championship," Hackett was quoted as saying by the LSU website. "I want to express my apologies to my coaches, my teammates, LSU and our fans. Although this was unintentional, I'm deeply sorry this will have such a negative impact on my team and LSU."

Asked yesterday about the matter, National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president, Ephraim Serrette told the Sunday Express that the Association is still trying to clarify the details surrounding Hackett's positive test.

"We just emailed the school," Serrette stated. "We have no information as yet (to go on)."

Serrette said the NAAA will issue a statement once they have full details on the matter.

The issue left LSU's head track and field coach, Dennis Shaver "disappointed".

"It's unfortunate the team will be required to vacate the NCAA Championship due to the actions of one individual, but we will certainly comply with the NCAA's instructions in this matter," Shaver said. "We support the policies that the NCAA has set to promote fair competition.

"This is disappointing news for the LSU Track and Field programme, but our hard work and pursuit of excellence will continue on and off the track."

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