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Tiffany James-Rose, the decorated Jamaican 400m runner, faces a pivotal decision about her future in track and field following a two-year suspension imposed by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for a whereabouts violation. The suspension, which commenced in November 2023 and extends until November 2025, has left James-Rose contemplating retirement at the conclusion of the current track season.

The suspension arose from James-Rose missing out-of-competition tests within a 12-month period, leading to a violation of anti-doping regulations. However, the circumstances surrounding the missed tests are deeply personal and tied to her pregnancy, which required urgent medical attention during the times when doping control officers attempted to conduct tests.

The 27-year-old James-Rose was four months’ pregnant when she missed two of her three tests in June 2023.

In a candid interview, she took responsibility for not updating the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Administration and Management System (ADAMS) with her whereabouts, attributing her oversight to the urgent health concerns related to her pregnancy. Reflecting on the challenging period, she emphasized her primary focus on ensuring her own well-being and that of her unborn child.

“I found myself in a situation where I had to be making trips to neighbouring states for emergency visits because of my pregnancy and, unfortunately, it happened on the two times when I was there. My husband’s father was here when they knocked on the door and I wasn’t here. It was like ‘why did it have to happen on the two days that I did a morning visit and not on Sunday or something like that,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“Maybe they (AIU) said that I should have written a letter saying I was pregnant but in the moment, in the situation I wasn’t really thinking about track and field, I was thinking about my life and my child. It was my first pregnancy, I wanted to make sure I was okay, I wanted to make sure I was at those appointments because I was having one of those scary type of pregnancies. When things started to feel a little bit better about the pregnancy about August/September it had already gone bad.”

Her son was born in December 2023.

James-Rose, the 2016 World U20 400 champion, revealed the difficulties she encountered with immigration processes upon relocating to the United States, which coincided with her pregnancy. The unforeseen challenges delayed her return to competitive training and contributed to the administrative oversight that led to the whereabouts violation.

 “Before the pregnancy at the end of the 2022 season, I was in Oregon and shortly after that my husband (Jamari) filed for me so the migration process was taking place and, unfortunately, I had some problems with my documentation and when I arrived in the United States I was unable to travel so that was the first problem for me.

“I arrived in the United States at the end of August to sort out that and I was unable to travel until March the following year. During that time, I was working out, with the hope of going back to join the group at GC Foster. I was communicating with them. I was actively training at that time. When I was able to travel again I did visit Jamaica immediately and that was when I found out I was pregnant.”

Despite expressing a deep love for track and field, James-Rose is relishing the joys of motherhood and is uncertain about her future in competitive athletics. She is committed to making a decision about her career by the end of the current season, acknowledging the importance of mental and physical preparation regardless of her competitive status.

“I think I will have to make that decision by the end of this season (2024), because even though I can’t compete, I want to get my mind and body ready,” James-Rose stated.

“I can’t really say for sure. I am extremely happy. I am loving it (motherhood). Track and field is my first love but I think I have found true love and right now I am just living in the moment of motherhood and just enjoying the moments with my son and my husband for now. I mean, the suspension ends in November of 2025 so time will tell, I don’t know for sure what my decision will be.

“It’s (track and field) something I would love my son to grow and see me doing so it’s definitely a decision to be made.”

The determination to return to competitive athletics hinges on her motivation and drive, factors that James-Rose will assess carefully as she navigates this pivotal juncture in her career.

As James-Rose contemplates her future, her ultimate wish is for her son to witness her accomplishments in track and field. However, she remains grounded in the present, prioritizing her role as a mother while keeping the door open to a potential return to competitive sport. 


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