ILNews

Appeal dropped against Valpo clinic's client

Rebecca Berfanger
January 1, 2008
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The first athlete to win an arbitration against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a client of the Valparaiso University School of Law's Sports Law Clinic, has received another win. The World Anti-Doping Agency has dropped its appeal of last year's decision in favor of a record-breaking sprinter, the university announced April 22.

The ruling in United States Anti-Doping Agency v. LaTasha Jenkins in Jenkin's favor was initially announced Dec. 12, 2007, and the 44-page decision was released Jan. 25, 2008, clearing her of charges that she used the steroid nandrolone after testing positive during a routine drug test in July 2006. That story was reported in Indiana Lawyer Jan. 9-22, 2008, "Team Effort Prevails."

"Having carefully reviewed the scientific data of this case, which includes material not available to us from the initial hearing, WADA has reached the conclusion that the adverse analytical findings cannot lead to a sanction of Jenkins," WADA wrote about dropping the appeal.

Michael Straubel, director of the clinic and an associate professor of law, and four third-year Valparaiso law students, who are members of the clinic, represented Jenkins in the USADA arbitration, which was heard in October 2007.

In the USADA hearings for Jenkins' case, members of the Sports Law Clinic argued that the test results weren't accurate and those who conducted the testing didn't follow proper procedures.

Jenkins, who has competed in the 100- and 200-meter sprint events and won the silver medal at the 2001 World Track Indoor Championships and the bronze medal at the 2001 World Track Championships, said in a statement she intends to resume her career as a sprinter and is ready to move on, hoping that others will recognize that she has been cleared and that her reputation has been restored.

The charges took away nearly two years of her running career and an endorsement deal.

"It was a good day for athletes," Straubel said in a statement. "The panel acknowledged that an allegation of doping is a serious matter which profoundly affects an athlete, and laboratories therefore must ensure the highest scientific reliability of the testing process. We support efforts to stop the use of performance-enhancing drugs and are proud of our work in this case."
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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