Florida Coach Believes Williams Will Be Cleared For World's

Gary Evans believes Briana Williams

And the American sprints coach based out of Clermont, Florida, believes she will be cleared for action at the IAAF World Championships once the dust has settled. 

In a report made public on Tuesday by several Jamaican outlets, the 17-year-old Jamaican world U20 sprint champ and American high school record holder at 100 meters was found to have taken a banned substance after the World Anti-Doping Agency tested her 'A' and 'B' sample following the Jamaican National Senior Championships from June 21-23. 

The agency found positive traces of the diuretic hyrdochlorothiazide. Diuretics and similar masking agents are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

But Williams' team had an explanation for it.

During the championships she declared to have taken a cold medicine, Pharma Cold and Flu, and then, after the 'A' sample was deemed positive, her representatives tested the medicine at a domestic lab in Michigan. 

Read: Williams found to have used banned substance by WADA

On Tuesday, Williams' Canadian-based lawyer Dr. Emir Crowne said the medicine--which was taken in pill form--was found to have elements of the diuretic in it. If found guilty of use, Williams could face a maximum ban of four years out of the sport. Williams' coach, Ato Boldon, declined comment. 

Over the next weeks, she will be ruled both in the court of public opinion and in front of arbitrators of the sport. Her case will reportedly be heard by the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel -- Crowne is even requesting an expedited hearing, as Jamaica is reportedly naming its world team in early September. 

It will be a tough week for the teenager -- who still has one more year left of high school in Florida. 

She was the third and final qualifier for the Jamaican women at 100 meters ahead of the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Doha, Qatar. She also won 100m races at the Pan American U18 and U20 Championships this season.

Evans has seen Williams compete countless times on the track over the past two seasons.

You may even call him a 'rival' coach, as he works with, and writes the workouts for, one of William's top competitors, Tamari Davis

And yet, he believes she made an honest mistake. 

"If I was on the (independent doping control) staff, I would clear her," he said. "If they did protocol, if they listed it, then I say that's clear."

As a professional sprints coach, Evans says he's never had an athlete under his watch face a doping violation. In today's landscape of drug control in track and field -- and how drug testing works -- he says you have to remain hyper-vigilant at all times. 

But even then, he says, you can't follow an athlete around everywhere they go. 

"As coaches, we can only do so much," he said. "First thing they say is coach is dirty. But coach might not have known anything. It's a you-can't-win situation."

Having coached many professionals over the years, he knows how news, and perception, work, too. 

"The thing is, it might come back clear, but she has that cloud over her now," Evans said. "It will be tough."

"You're talking about her life here," said Evans, who, if in similar shoes, would recommend Williams seeing a sports psychologist to monitor things. 

Evans is so paranoid of potential violations nowadays, he says the only cold remedy he uses with Davis nowadays is "honey, lemon, tea and chicken noodle soup." His son, Tariq, who has ADHD uses a lower dose of medicine. 

"Stuff is too crazy on the market now," he said. 

But when it comes down to brass tax,  Evans says the arbitrators should look at the facts.

Williams declared the cold medicine on her forms ahead of the Jamaican Championships. If the substance was in the medicine, he said, she should be cleared. 

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