Manyonga suspended for doping violation

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Olympic long jump silver medallist Luvo Manyonga has been provisionally suspended for anti-doping whereabouts failures.

The Athletics Integrity Unit reported on Friday - Manyonga's 30th birthday - that the South African has been issued with a notice of charge.

He could face up to a two-year ban if found guilty, which would rule him out of the Olympic Games in Tokyo that are scheduled to start on July 23.

A Whereabouts Failure charge can be laid against an athlete for failing to submit their location ahead of time for random out-of-competition drug tests, or failing to appear at a pre-arranged time for a test three times in a 12-month period.

Manyonga, who was not immediately available to comment, said recently he had not trained for a year amid a breakaway from his agent and did not know when he would begin his programme towards the Tokyo Games.

"I'm not training and I don't know the way forward because I'm doing everything on my own, trying to fight my battles," he told South Africa's TimesLIVE website last month.

"My clothes are all over the world. I'm changing places to stay, I'm staying in (Paarl), my clothes are in PE (Port Elizabeth). I don't know what is the way forward for me."

Manyonga's Olympic silver medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 was a remarkable tale of triumph over adversity, with the athlete having previously admitted recreational drug addiction.

He underwent rehabilitation and did not compete between 2012 and 2014.

Manyonga was given an 18-month suspension by the sport's world governing body in that period after testing positive for the recreational drug tik - the local South African variant of crystal methamphetamine.

After claiming Olympic silver in Brazil, he won the gold medal in the 2017 world championships and took first place at the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast a year later.

Several stars have recently been sanctioned for whereabouts failures including American 100 metres world champion Christian Coleman, who will miss the Tokyo Games after being handed a two-year ban.

On Friday, the AIU also said 24-year-old Kenyan middle distance runner Alfred Kipketer, a former world junior champion over 800 metres, had been banned for two years for whereabouts failures. The ban was backdated to start November 26, 2019.