Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Eid Naser suspended for whereabouts violations

Published:Saturday | June 6, 2020 | 12:06 AM


The Athletics Integrity United said yesterday that women’s 400m World champion Salwa Eid Naser has been provisionally suspended for not making herself available for doping tests.

Naser, who won gold for Bahrain in one of the biggest upsets of last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, has been charged with whereabouts violations. She could miss next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, if the case is proven.

Naser was born in Nigeria and moved to Bahrain at the age of 14. She won the World title in October, finishing in 48.14 seconds – the fastest time by any woman since 1985.

Naser’s victory ended a 25-month winning streak for Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas, who took silver despite breaking her own personal best. Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson took the bronze medal in that race.

After her win, Naser said her next aim was the world record.

Athletes are required to provide regular updates on their whereabouts, to make it possible for anti-doping authorities to carry out surprise testing outside of competition. A violation means an athlete either did not fill out forms telling authorities where they could be found, or that they weren’t where they said they would be when testers arrived.

Three violations within 12 months can lead to a suspension if the athlete can’t justify why they weren’t available for testing, as it is treated like a failed drug test.

The provisional suspension is the latest in a series of cases against Bahrain’s elite squad of female runners originally from African countries. Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet was banned for four years in March for Erythropoietin, more commonly known as EPO, and Olympic marathon runner-up Eunice Kirwa picked up a four-year ban last year.

A person listed as Naser’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.