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Salwa Eid Naser, world 400m champion, to miss Olympics with ban

Salwa Eid Naser

Bahrein’s Salwa Eid Naser competes in the Women’s 400m heats at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on September 30, 2019. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Salwa Eid Naser, the world 400m champion from Bahrain, is banned through the Tokyo Olympics and for two years total over a case of missed drug tests in 2019.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld appeals from World Athletics and the World Anti-Doping Agency, which challenged an October 2020 ruling that threw out one of Naser’s three missed tests in a 12-month span that otherwise would have prompted a one-to-two-year ban.

That October 2020 ruling came from an Athletics Integrity Unit disciplinary tribunal.

Naser’s ban begins today and runs into early 2023. She gets credit for time served during a provisional suspension from June 4, 2020 to Oct. 14, 2020.

On Oct. 3, 2019, Naser won the world title in Doha in 48.14 seconds, the third-fastest time in history and the fastest in 34 years.

On June 4, 2020, Naser was provisionally suspended pending a hearing on her case for missing three drug tests in a 12-month span. Naser said that the missed tests all came before the 2019 World Championships.

“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be,” Naser said in June 2020. “I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens. It can happen to anybody. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat.

“I would never take performance-enhancing drugs. I believe in talent, and I know I have the talent.”

In October 2020, a disciplinary tribunal dismissed one of the missed tests, citing a tester knocking on a storage unit door rather than her apartment in confusion of her location.

Naser’s “whole approach to the whereabouts requirements was seriously and inexcusably irresponsible,” according to CAS on Wednesday, reported by Reuters. “She attempted to escape the consequences of her actions by giving evidence which this panel found to be untruthful.”

Naser, the 2017 World 400m silver medalist, upset Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas for the 2019 World title in Doha.

Naser will not be stripped of her 2019 World title because she passed 19 drug tests from April to November 2019, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit, citing a CAS explanation that has not been published.

Miller-Uibo has said she will race the 200m at the Olympics and not the 400m, choosing one because the events overlap.

The 2019 World bronze medalist, Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, has moved down to the 100m and 200m.

Namibia’s Christine Mboma, 18, is the world’s fastest woman in the 400m since the start of 2019 outside of those three women. She ran 49.22 on April 17. Another Namibian 18-year-old, Beatrice Masilingi, is next on the list at 49.53.

American Wadeline Jonathas was fourth at the 2019 Worlds in 49.60. Jonathas finished third at the Olympic Trials behind Quanera Hayes and Allyson Felix.

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