Dai Greene is convinced his Welsh team-mates Rhys Williams and Gareth Warburton did not knowingly take performance enhancing drugs that caused him to fail a drugs test.
Williams, a 400 meter hurdler, and Warburton, an 800 meter runner, were thrown out of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last week and banned from competing after testing positive in a routine drugs test in the build up to the competition.
Greene, one of the most senior and well respected athletes in the Wales squad, believes that neither would deliberately cheat and suggests both of them may have just been "careless" in taking contaminated products.
“When Gaz found out he texted me and I was really upset about it because I know Gaz and lived with him for a few years. He’s not that kind of guy,” Greene told The Daily Telegraph.
“Hopefully they can get to the bottom of things and find things out because I do believe that they are not deliberate cheaters.
“They have probably just been careless or misled slightly. That will come out eventually I’m sure."
Greene addressed the fact that Williams and himself do not share a productive relationship, buts still believes he knows him well enough to say he is not the type to dope.
He continued: “Even though me and Rhys don’t really get on, I know he’s not the sort of person to deliberately cheat. I don’t think anybody in the Welsh or British team honestly believes they have gone out of their way to cheat.
“It’s just unfortunate but as professional athletes we’ve got to learn not to take anything that isn’t batch tested. That’s the way it is and hopefully other people will learn from it.”
Punishment to follow
Although backing up his Welsh teammates, Greene says that the pair will inevitably fact a ban and must accept their punishment. He said no matter whether it is a mistake or not, no athlete can get away with having banned drugs in their system.
“There’s bound to be a punishment because you can’t get away with having steroids or whatever else in your system,” he said. “But, hopefully they will look at the situation.
“They’ve already been punished quite severely in terms of missing the Commonwealths. They will be too old at the next one to be in any shape so that’s a massive knock.
“They had ambitions to be at the Europeans [in August] as well so that’s two championships they are going to miss. The ban they will probably get will go into next season as well so they will get punished for it.
“I can’t imagine being in that situation. Hopefully they can come back from this as stronger athletes and continue their careers because they are past 30 now so I do feel sorry for them in that regard.
“The joke with Gaz when I lived with him was he lived off raisins and couscous because he couldn't afford anything else, so I don't think he's organising a drugs ring.”
Greene accepts that punishments must be administered by sympathised with the pair. The former world champion says although the list of banned substances is clear, there are blurred lines within the rules.
It’s difficult because the standard line is ‘don’t take any supplements’,” said Greene.
“But there are many supplements you take that are fine. Some things are batch tested and some things aren’t. It would be interesting to see what they took and if it was batch tested and I’m sure we’ll find out in the future.”
Greene was speaking to The Daily Telegraph after crashing out of the 400 meter hurdles at the semi-final stage. It is a massive downfall for a man who won a gold medal in the 2011 world championships, but he admitted the result was no surprise to him because of his constant struggle with injury.
“I’m disappointed, but a few months ago I didn't think I'd actually be here on the start-line,” he said.
“I don't like losing or finishing down the field, but I know myself I haven't done enough training to be the champion of the Commonwealth.
“I know that it takes almost a year of training and that's got to go really well.
“But I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to wear a Welsh vest and experience the crowd.”