US Olympic champion McNeill banned 5 years for doping rule violation

The International Athletics Federations’ Integrity Unit announced on Friday that American Olympic champion Brianna McNeill in the 100 meters hurdles has been banned for five years for breaking doping rules. McNeill, who faced charges and was provisionally suspended for “manipulating the results management process” last January, was punished by a disciplinary court, her second violation of World Anti-Doping Agency rules, and her participation in the Olympics is in doubt until the appeal is heard. The 29-year-old, who won gold in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and in the 2013 world championships, denied that she had a positive result in doping tests for the presence of banned substances. The suspension is effective from August 15, 2020, and the Integrity Unit said that McNeill has appealed against the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and a hearing in the case will take place before the start of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23. The Integrity Unit added that the Court of Arbitration for Sport may grant McNeill temporary clearance so she may be able to compete until the end of the US Olympic qualifiers on June 27. The Integrity Unit did not provide any details of the decision “for reasons of confidentiality.” McNeill was suspended for a year for missing three out-of-competition doping tests, and the suspension, which was applied in the 2017 season, caused her to miss this year’s world championships.

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