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Brianna McNeal, Olympic 100m hurdles champion, could face eight-year ban

The Olympic 100m hurdles champion Brianna McNeal could face an eight-year ban after becoming the latest big-name athlete to be charged with an anti-doping violation.

In a statement, the Athletics Integrity Unit said that the 29-year-old American had been provisionally suspended after being charged with “tampering within the results management process”, but did not give any more details.

Under anti-doping rules, the standard sanction for a tampering charge is a four-year ban. However in 2017 McNeal was banned for a year by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after three whereabouts failures in 2016 – two of them after she forgot to update her whereabouts details when she was attending a fete of honour in her hometown and travelling to the White House to meet the president.

McNeal who led a historic USA sweep of the medals in her event in Rio, with Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin finishing second and third, was punished under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code for failing to properly file whereabouts information on three occasions in a 12-month period.

The American Arbitration Association, which ruled on the case, described it as “a difficult case because it involves the imposition of a serious penalty on a brilliant athlete who is not charged or suspected of using banned substances of any kind”.

At that time, McNeal posted a statement to her Instagram account, which read in part: “I’ve always competed clean, and I am always happy to be tested to prove it. This is one of the most difficult times in my career, especially after having such a great 2016 season – all I wanted to do was capitalise on that but God has other plans.” Competing under her maiden name of Rollins, also claimed the world 100m hurdles title in Moscow in 2013.

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Last week it was revealed that the London 2017 world long jump champion, Luvo Manyonga – who made worldwide headlines when he recovered from a crystal meth addiction to become one of the faces of track and field – could face a four-year ban after being provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures. The current 100m world champion Christian Coleman was hit with a two-year ban in October for missing tests.

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