Burghead hammer thrower Mark Dry has said he will be back after having his ban from the sport reduced from four years to 28 months.
The UK Anti-Doping Agency decision means Dry can return to action from 24 January 2022.
Dry, 33, received a four-year suspension, backdated to October 2018, after initially lying about why he was not at the address he had provided in his ‘whereabouts’ information for October 15, 2018.
If he had simply come clean that he was visiting his parents in Morayshire, the Rio Olympian would have simply have received a strike on his record, earning sympathy within the sport for his claim that the punishment – tied to strict World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines – was “grossly disproportionate and unfair”.
Changes to the World Anti-Doping Code, introduced at the start of 2021, prompted UKAD to slash the ban by 20 months.
Struggling to bite my tongue but through fear of being sued I'm trying to exercise restraint, but just wanted to say thank you for your support and love. It's been rough, I'm a bit of a fat shipwreck but I'll be back, for better or for worse. We don't quit.
Yours in sport
— Mark dry (@Markdry) August 5, 2021
And although Dry – who saw a previous arbitration ruling in his favour overturned – filed a fresh appeal to have it trimmed by a greater amount, a hearing of the independent National Anti-Doping Panel ruled unanimously that the previous change can stand.
Dry, who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2018, said: “Struggling to bite my tongue but through fear of being sued I’m trying to exercise restraint, but just wanted to say thank you for your support and love.
“It’s been rough, I’m a bit of a fat shipwreck but I’ll be back, for better or for worse. We don’t quit.”
In a statement, UK Anti-Doping said: “UKAD was able to reduce Mr Dry’s ban in light of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, introduced on 1 January, which now provides flexibility when sanctioning athletes for Tampering violations.
“Mr Dry continues to be banned from sport until 24 January 2022. Thereafter, he is free to return to competition.
“The anti-doping programme requires athletes to be at the location logged in their Whereabouts so Out-of-Competition testing can be conducted, without prior notice.
“Any effort to undermine this process, including providing fraudulent information, is clearly unacceptable and is a violation of the anti-doping rules. Athletes should be under no illusion that such behaviour will lead to a lengthy ban from sport.”