World 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser will miss the Olympics this summer after being handed a two-year ban following an issue of missed drug tests between March 2019 and January 2020.
Naser had been cleared of whereabouts failures by a disciplinary tribunal last October but the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld appeals made by World Athletics and the World Anti-Doping Agency contesting the decision.
The CAS panel found the 23-year-old Nigerian-born Bahraini guilty of article 2.4 of the IAAF anti-doping rules, which relates to “any combination of three missed tests and/or filing failures”.
A CAS statement said: “Ms Salwa Eid Naser is sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 30 June 2021 with credit given for the period of provisional suspension already served between 4 June and 14 October 2020.
“All competitive results obtained by Ms Salwa Eid Naser from 25 November 2019 through to the date of notification of the CAS award shall be disqualified, with all of the resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points and prize and appearance money.”
Naser swept to gold at the world championship in October 2019 in Doha, Qatar, in a time of 48.14 seconds, but CAS’ decision means – as well as being unable to feature at the Tokyo Games in a few weeks – she will be unable to defend her world title in Eugene, Oregon, next year.
In June last year, Naser was provisionally suspended pending a hearing on her case for missing three drug tests over a 12-month period. Naser said the missed tests all occurred prior to the 2019 World Championships.
“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be,” Naser said at the time.
“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.”