Bahrain’s world 400m champion is suspended for ‘whereabouts failures’

World 400m gold medallist Salwa Eid Naser has been provisionally suspended for ‘whereabouts failures’, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has announced.

The announcement comes eight months after Naser, who was born in Nigeria but represents Bahrain, stormed to victory at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, clocking 48.14 for a near one-second PB to beat Bahamas’ Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

It was the fastest 400m for 34 years and moved Naser to third on the world 400m all-time list behind Marita Koch (47.60) and Jarmila Kratochvilova (47.99).

READ MORE: Salwa Eid Naser stuns Shaunae Miller-Uibo in world 400m

The AIU has not yet released any further details about the whereabouts failures but the current status of the case is ‘charge issued’.

In a statement issued via Twitter, the AIU said: “The AIU has provisionally suspended Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain for whereabouts failures, a violation of the @WorldAthletics Anti-Doping Rules.”

Under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, athletes are required to submit their whereabouts for one hour every day, plus overnight accommodation and training information, in case they are needed for out-of-competition testing.

An athlete is said to have violated anti-doping rules if they have any combination of three missed tests or filing failures within a 12-month period, starting on the day of the first relevant missed test or filing failure.

According to OlympicTalk, Naser said: “I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be,” in an Instagram live video, which is no longer available to view.

“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.”

OlympicTalk adds that Naser said “the missed tests” all took place before last year’s world championships. In a comment given to journalist Evelyn Watta, which she posted on Twitter, Naser’s manager Juan Pineda reportedly said: “She missed two tests in 2019. During her holidays in Nigeria early 2020 she missed a flight arriving late to her hotel … producing her third missed test.”

» This post was updated on June 6 to include quotes from Salwa Eid Naser and her manager Juan Pineda

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