… says missing three drugs tests in a year ‘is normal
World 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser has been given a provisional suspension for failing to make herself available for anti-doping tests and could face a ban of up to two years for the whereabouts violation.
World Athletics anti-doping rules say a whereabouts violation consists of any combination of three missed tests or filing failures in a 12-month period.
Naser switched allegiance to Bahrain in 2014, when she was 16. That year she turned heads at the Youth Olympic Games when she won 400m silver while wearing a hijab and a full bodysuit.
She cuts a different figure now, competing in short shorts and a sleeveless midriff-bearing top. Naser also sports five body piercings, nine tattoos and often has dyed hair, unusual for a female Muslim athlete representing a conservative Gulf state such as Bahrain.
Elite athletes are required to provide the AIU got it with their whereabouts 90 days in advance so they can be subjected to out-of-competition doping tests.
Under World Athletics’ rules, any combination of three whereabouts failures (filing failure and/or missed test) within a period of 12 months constitutes an anti-doping rule violation, for which the sanction is two years’ ineligibility subject to a reduction to a minimum of one year depending on the athlete’s degree of fault.
The 22-year old born Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu in Anambra State to Nigerian parents clocked 48.14 seconds to win the one-lap race at the Doha worlds, placing her third in the all-time list behind Marita Koch (47.60 in 1985) and Jarmila Kratochvilova (47.99 in 1983).
Naser’s gold medal-winning performance in Doha made her just the second woman to win a global-level title for Bahrain, following in the footsteps of Ethiopian-born Maryam Yusuf Jamal, who won two world 1,500m titles (2007, 2009) and was upgraded to Olympic gold in the 2012 London Games after the initial winner and runner-up were both banned for biological passport irregularities.
However, she has made the extraordinary claim that missing three drugs tests within a period of 12 months “is normal” after she was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be. 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,” she said an Instagram live video.