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Jamaican athlete Dominique Blake's six-year doping ban reduced

Kingston: Jamaican 400-metre runner Dominique Blake's six-year ban for a second doping offence has been reduced to four-and-a-half years, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced.

The statement by CAS highlights the outcome of Blake's appeal against a six-year ban handed down by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel almost a year ago, reports CMC.

"My initial reaction was that I had to be grateful for a lesser time," Blake told the Gleaner in a telephone interview.

"Right off the bat my team and I had hoped for a shorter period, but still, at the end of the day, the time was reduced," she said.

CAS said it had reached its decision "in view of some mitigating factors" although it added that "the athlete has "failed to establish that she bears no significant fault or negligence".

"I cannot be angry, I still have an opportunity to do what I love doing best, which is competing if I choose to do so, so I am grateful and thankful," said the Jamaican quarter miler.

"It's been tiring, but I'm really happy to move on and put everything behind me. But as far as how I was handled by (the Jamaica Anti-Doping panel) it was really disappointing. I wasn't given a fair hearing, in my opinion, and that's why I took it to CAS," she added.

Blake tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine at the 2012 Olympic trials, her second doping offence after she tested positive for ephedrine in 2006 for which she was banned for nine months.

She finished sixth at the trials and was picked as a relay runner for the London Olympics but did not compete at the Games.

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