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Sports

Olympic champion Rollins banned for a year

media Brianna Rollins led a United States clean sweep of hte medals in the women's 100 meters hurdles. AFP/Franck Fife

Brianna Rollins, the Olympic 100m hurdles champion, has been handed a one year suspension for failing to keep drugs testers informed about her movements. The punishment will date back to 27 September 2016 - the day of her last missed whereabouts report and will last until 18 December 2017.

 

She will be able to keep the gold medal she won in Rio but she will not compete in the IAAF World Championships in August in London.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency - USADA - said in a statement that the 25-year-old athlete, who led a US podium sweep of the 100m hurdles at the Rio Games, received three "whereabouts failures" over the course of 2016 which constitutes a doping rule violation.

One of the missed reports came while she was meeting former US president Barack Obama at the White House in September. Another report was missed in the same month because she was attending a Brianna Rollins Day in her hometown in Florida.

A panel from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) that heard Rollins's appeal conceded that receiving such honours could have reasonably distracted her from what it described as "quotidian though important responsibilities."

The AAA panel found that a violation had occurred. It added: "The case involves the imposition of a serious penalty on a brilliant athlete who is not charged or suspected of using banned substances of any kind.

"This is a first offence. She had been frequently tested for years and she has a perfect drug-free record, both in and out-of-competition."

US drugs testers said Rollins completed eight out-of-competition tests over the course of 2016 and did not test positive. She also passed all eight in-competition drug tests she took last year.

"It is with my deepest regrets that I will have to miss the 2017 outdoor season," Rollins said in a statement. "I accept full responsibility for the mistakes that have led to my suspension and am disappointed that I will have to miss this coming outdoor season, as a result of my confusion over how the whereabouts programme worked.

"I have always been and continue to be a supporter of USADA and their fight to keep our sport clean. I will continue to do my part to prove that success can be achieved without taking any shortcuts. I will accept the sanction and work to prepare myself for my return in 2018."

 

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