Friday, August 20, 2010

Oregon associate AD & head track coach Vin Lananna reacts to Michael Berry suspension...

A day after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) handed Rainier Beach High School graduate Michael Berry a three month suspension after testing positive for Carboxy THC, a metabolite of marijuana in the class of Cannabinoids, in a sample collected on June 26, 2010, at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, University of Oregon associate athletic director, and head track & field coach Vin Lananna (left/photo courtesy University of Oregon) issued the following statement regarding Berry, who will attend Oregon this fall.

"We applaud the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for the work that they do and we take all violations of their policies seriously."

"I met Michael on his recruiting trip. He’s a fine young man who’s clearly made a mistake. We have good people and systems in place within the athletic department to work with Michael and make sure that this incident is an anomaly."

Berry won back-to-back Washington state 400 meter titles for Rainier Beach High School. He took the title as a junior in 2009 in 47.93, and then came back as a senior and won in 46.81. Berry added the state 200 meter title to his resume in 2010, winning in 21.83, and was the runner-up at 100 meters (11.30). He clocked his best times in the 100 (10.89) and 200 (21.59) at the Seattle Metro Championships.

This summer, he won the 400 meters at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships in Sacramento, California, in a time of 46.13, the second fastest time by a high schooler this year.

He was nearly as impressive a few weeks earlier in a fourth-place finish at the 2010 USA Junior Track & Field Championships in 46.39. However, that fourth-place finish will be wiped out after the USADA findings.

According to the story posted on Yahoo! Sports, the USADA suspension will not disqualify Team USA from its victory in the 4 x 400 meter relay at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick last month, in which Berry ran the anchor for the American squad.

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