The cost of lodging an appeal threatens Amantle Montshoâ€™s chances of challenging the two-year ban imposed by a local Disciplinary Committee, which ruled she was guilty of consuming a banned substance.
It would cost Montsho US$20,000 (approx. P200, 000) to appeal to the Court of Sport Arbitration (CSA) based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Montsho was banned for consuming a banned stimulant methylhexaneamine. Her attorney, Tshiamo Rantao said her client has a bright chance of having the decision overturned.
However, the high appeal costs could put an end to her prospects. “I pray that she finds the money as I feel injustice has been done,” Rantao told Mmegi Sport yesterday.
He described the imposing of the maximum two-year ban as a “decision bad in law of sport” adding that the sentence was too harsh.
“Even Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) president (Moses) Bantsi expressed shock that the sentence was too harsh when interviewed on television,” Rantao said.
He said the tribunal tasked with handling Montsho’s case, which was appointed by the BAA, had erred in applying the maximum sentence. Rantao said Montsho bought a supplement at Notwane pharmacy in Gaborone prior to the Commonwealth Games last year.
“She exercised due care as required of international athletes, by checking if the supplement contained any banned substance,” Rantao argued. “The athlete satisfied herself that the supplement did not contain any banned substance as she even checked on the Internet.
She even asked her physio and coach upon arrival in Senegal and was given the green light to consume the supplement,” Rantao explained.
He said when Montsho was tested at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July, she tested positive.
The energy drink was found to be the one that contained a banned stimulant when it was sent to a laboratory in the Free State in South Africa.
“It is possible that it was contaminated. According to the ingredients, it did not contain any banned substance, but when it was sent to the lab, it was discovered it actually did.”
Rantao said according to the World Anti-Doping Rules, the mandatory two-year sentence is imposed when it is proved that an athlete deliberately/knowingly took a banned substance and that the intention was to enhance performance.
But in this case, Rantao said, the athlete neither knew nor wanted to enhance her performance.
Rantao said the tribunal argued that Montsho did not provide evidence that she bought the energy drink at Notwane pharmacy as she failed to produce a receipt. But, Rantao said, the prosecution (BAA) did not dispute evidence.
“In the judgement, they say she did not bring a receipt. This is a decision in bad law. Our prospects in appeal are good,” he said.
Montsho has to appeal within 45 days after the delivery of the judgement on February 26.