Salwa Eid Naser: Women's 400m world champion missed four drugs tests, not three, says AIU
"I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It can happen to anybody," said Naser
Last Updated: 07/06/20 8:09pm
Women's 400m world champion Salwa Eid Naser was provisionally suspended for missing four drugs tests, rather than the three she claims, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Naser, who won gold for Bahrain in one of the biggest upsets of last year's World Championships, was charged and suspended with whereabouts violations by the AIU on Friday.
Speaking subsequently in an Instagram live video, the 22-year-old said she had missed three tests, and described doing so as "normal".
But in a follow-up statement, the AIU said: "The investigation into Ms Naser's three whereabouts failures in 2019 was ongoing at the time of the Doha World Championships and she was not provisionally suspended at that time.
"Following conclusion of the investigation and a fourth whereabouts failure in January 2020, a notice of charge was issued and Ms Naser subject to an immediate provisional suspension."
The AIU's accusation that Naser - who denies ever taking performance-enhancing drugs - missed a fourth test in January 2020 comes after she said that "this year, I have not been drug tested".
Three violations within 12 months can lead to a suspension of up to two years if the athlete in question cannot justify why they were not available for testing.
Naser, who was born in Nigeria and moved to Bahrain at the age of 14, won the world title in October, finishing in 48.14 seconds, the fastest time by any woman since 1985, and the third-fastest time in history.
In her Instagram live video, Naser said: "I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It can happen to anybody.
"I don't want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat. I've never been a cheat. I will never be.
"Hopefully, it'll get resolved because I don't really like the image, but it has happened.
"It's going to be fine. It's very hard to have this little stain on my name. I would never take performance-enhancing drugs. I believe in talent, and I know I have the talent."