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McKnee’s ban lifted

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

McKnee’s ban lifted

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Ivorn McKnee is back.
After serving just over half of a four-year ban for the use of performance enhancing drugs, the weightlifter is back in training towards two major competitions this year.
McKnee, who turned 32 just two days ago, told NATIONSPORT that he had thoughts of quitting after a positive test for an anabolic steroid three years ago, but was encouraged by others not to give up.
“A lot of people were telling me don’t stop,”?he said. “I said I would stick it out and coach [Andrew Callender] told me to stick it out and hold on to 2014.”
McKnee said he didn’t know why the ban was lifted early, but several other international weightlifters who had been serving bans also had their suspensions reduced.
The ban ceased late last year.
Callender said McKnee was “looking good” again, but was not in good shape when he returned to their training base at the National Stadium several months ago.
“He was in a heap of knots. Last month was the first time he didn’t have a lot of knots,” Callender said.
“We had to go back to the beginning. He had knots in the shoulder, legs, calves, forearms, and when you got rid of one, another one popped up because he wasn’t training at optimum.”
McKnee, who won the 105kg class at the 2008 and 2009 Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships, said he kept in shape during the ban, but not to the same intensity.
“I was training three to four times a week, but not as regularly. The strength is still there but I was lacking in condition. I am basically lifting the same weights I was lifting all the time,” he said.
In February, just as he was about to attempt a personal best lift in training, he picked up a rotator cuff injury and had tightness in the back. He spent most of the time since that injury doing rehabilitation and is getting ready to increase the intensity as he prepares for the Pan American Weightlifting Championships in Venezuela next month and the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Malaysia in November.
The 2008 National Sports Personality said he was looking forward to competing at the former event “to get rid of the cobwebs”.
McKnee’s training is being geared towards the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
He tested positive for stanozolol on April 23, 2010 during an out-of-competition test. He had recently changed his supplements while stepping up preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I guess it was a bad choice,”?he said at the time. “We haven’t pinpointed what has caused the positive result, but once again, I take this opportunity to apologize to everyone.
“I have sought to be a model athlete with the goal of bringing glory and respect to my country. I want to encourage all athletes to be mindful of all supplements and to follow guidelines outlined by WADA.”
It has been a tough lesson to learn and McKnee is now very wary.
“Since the whole ordeal, I got to know my body a lot better. I know my capabilities.
“Supplements,” he added with a derisive laugh, “you have to be really careful with them and scrutinize everything. I am not on anything much, just amino fuels, protein and B12 and some calcium for the joints.
“I am good. Once I eat well I should be all right. The diet is the most important thing.”
Callender said McKnee’s return had a positive impact on other weightlifters who hadstepped up their level of training towards Malaysia.