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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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