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Brianna McNeal, Olympic hurdles champ, provisionally suspended

Brianna McNeal

USA’s Mcneal Brianna (C) reacts after winning the 100 m hurdles women’s event at the Morocco Diamond League athletics competition in the Stadium Prince Moulay Abdellah of Rabat on July 13, 2018. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP) (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Brianna McNeal, the Rio Olympic 100m hurdles champion, was provisionally suspended after being charged with tampering with part of a doping control process.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles anti-doping cases in track and field, announced the ban on Thursday.

Provisional suspensions can be issued while awaiting a hearing on charges to determine an official punishment, if any.

“Brianna has not tested positive for any substance banned in the sport of track and field,” McNeal’s agency said in a statement. “Brianna will request a hearing, where she fully expects to be exonerated and continue her championship career.”

McNeal, 29, led a U.S. medals sweep of the 100m hurdles in Rio.

She missed the 2017 World Championships while serving a one-year ban in a strange case of missing three drug tests in a 12-month span. An arbitration panel believed that McNeal was a clean athlete, showing “no evidence of avoiding testing, masking drug use, or using drugs.”

At the 2019 Worlds, McNeal false started out of the first round of the 100m hurdles.

She did not contest a 100m hurdles race in 2020, but did compete in sprints between 60m and 150m and the indoor 60m hurdles.

McNeal ranks seventh among Americans in the 100m hurdles since the start of 2019. The top three at the Olympic Trials in June go to Tokyo.

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