Disturbing truth emerges after record-breaking athletics feat

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Salwa Eid Naser, pictured here setting the third-fastest 400m time ever in 2019.
Salwa Eid Naser set the third-fastest 400m time ever in 2019. Image: IAAF/Getty

World 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser has received a two-year doping ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, ruling her out of the Tokyo Olympics.

The 23-year-old from Bahrain stunned the athletics world in 2019 when she powered to the third-fastest 400m time in history to take the world title in Doha.

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Her time of 48.14sec has only been bettered by Marita Koch of the then-East Germany and the Czech Republic's Jarmila Kratochvilova in the 1980s.

However Naser was later charged with breaking rules governing her availability to undergo anti-doping testing and provisionally suspended in June last year.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) disciplinary tribunal then ruled in October that Naser had not violated anti-doping rules.

The tribunal's ruling had been based on a technicality - counting back the date of a rule violation to take effect from the start of a three-month period.

But CAS overturned that decision on Wednesday and upheld the two-year ban after an appeal from World Athletics.

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Salwa Eid Naser to miss Tokyo Olympics

CAS ruled that Nigerian-born Naser's ban will begin immediately, meaning she will be unable to take part in the Tokyo Olympics that begin next month.

“Salwa Eid Naser is sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 30 June 2021,” CAS said in a statement.

The ban will end in early 2023 as Naser will get credit for just over four months “for the period of provisional suspension already served” between June and October 2020.

Naser had been charged by the Athletics Integrity Unit for at least three “whereabouts failures” within a 12-month period, which can lead to a two-year ban.

Salwa Eid Naser, pictured here after winning the 400m at the World Athletics Championships in 2019.
Salwa Eid Naser celebrates after winning the 400m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2019. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Athletes must give updates on a WADA online platform where they can be found for no-notice testing outside of competition. 

A violation means an athlete gave wrong information or was not where they said they would be when sample collectors arrived.

Naser’s three proven whereabouts failures happened within a 12-month calendar period but were spread out over more than one year.

Although Naser failed to file accurate information to give a sample on March 16, 2019, it technically was counted as happening at the start of the quarter on January 1, 2019. 

Her proven missed tests were on March 12, 2019, and January 24, 2020 - making the combined time span longer than one year.

CAS not strip Naser of her 2019 world championship result.

with agencies

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