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Track medalist Mohamed Katir plans to appeal provisional suspension in whereabouts case

Mohamed Katir

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: August 27: Mohamed Katir of Spain reacts after his silver medal win in the Men’s 5000m Final during the World Athletics Championships, at the National Athletics Centre on August 27th, 2023 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Corbis via Getty Images

Spain’s Mohamed Katir, the 2023 World 5000m silver medalist, said he is innocent and plans to appeal a provisional suspension over providing his location for drug-testing purposes.

Katir, 25, said in a statement that he was told Wednesday that he has been provisionally suspended for three whereabouts failures in the last 12 months.

Later Wednesday, the Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles anti-doping cases in track and field, confirmed Katir’s provisional suspension for whereabouts failures.

A suspension for whereabouts failures means any combination of three missed drug tests and/or filing failures in a 12-month period. A filing failure could mean incorrectly filling out forms to tell drug testers where an athlete can be found, or not submitting quarterly forms at all.

Provisional suspensions can be issued while awaiting a hearing on charges to determine a final sanction, if any.

If the athlete is ultimately determined at fault, a suspension for whereabouts failures ranges from one to two years depending on degree of fault.

Katir said that, for at least one of his whereabouts failures, he was available at the time and place that he provided to drug testers to find him for testing. He is prepared to appeal to be allowed to compete while his case is adjudicated.

“It is important to keep in mind that we are not dealing with a case of violating doping rules for the use of prohibited substances or methods, or even for evading out-of-competition doping controls,” he said. “This is a simple file derived from the completion of location data on the ADAMS platform that could generate location errors (whereabouts).

“I am going to proceed to defend myself in the appropriate instances, as it cannot be otherwise. Therefore, I request that the right to the presumption of my innocence be respected until the corresponding procedure is processed and concluded.”

Katir earned 1500m bronze at the 2022 Worlds and 5000m silver at the 2023 Worlds. He was also the world’s second-fastest 1500m runner in 2023 by best time over the course of the year.