Olympic 100m hurdles champion Brianna McNeal has been provisionally suspended for doping violation, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said Thursday. The 29-year-old American, who won Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and also won world gold in Moscow in 2013, has been charged with “tampering” with part of a doping control, IAU said. McNeal, who won Olympic and world gold medals by running under her maiden name Rollins, owns the fourth fastest joint race in 100m hurdles history, after clocking 12, 26 seconds in Des Moines in 2013.
But she now faces the prospect of missing the rescheduled Tokyo Games later this year.
McNeal has previously been suspended for one year by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for failing to properly file whereabouts information for out-of-competition testing on three occasions in 2016.
The date of his third and final missed locate report was September 27, just five weeks after his success in Rio.
The ban meant McNeal missed the 2017 World Championships in London, but did not affect the gold she won in Brazil.
The hurdle carried out eight out-of-competition tests during 2016 and did not test positive.
McNeal received the least authorized sanction from USADA after it emerged that for two of the failed tests, after Rio, she had first traveled to her home state of Florida to be honored, then to meet the then US president, Barack Obama.
The ban is a blow to athletics, which has seen a string of top athletes take suspensions for anti-doping violations.
South African Olympic silver medalist in long jump Luvo Manyonga, 2017 world champion and 2018 Commonwealth champion, fouled the IAU last week over location issues.
Manyonga is the fourth athletics world champion since 2017 banned for a whereabouts violation. He follows Kenyan middle distance runner Elijah Manangoi, Bahraini runner Salwa Eid Naser and American sprinter Christian Coleman,
Coleman, the 100m world champion in Doha in 2019, has appealed his ban in an attempt to make it to the Tokyo Olympics.
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