Mon | Dec 4, 2023

World Athletics helps Amusan race against time

Published:Sunday | August 13, 2023 | 12:10 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter

WITH LESS than a week to go before the start of the 2023 World Athletics Championships, world 100m hurdles champion and world record holder Tobi Amusan is awaiting a decision from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), regarding an alleged whereabouts violation.

Amusan announced last month that she was officially charged by the AIU for missing three drug tests in the space of 12 months, charges that she has fiercely denied. However, Amusan has been named on the final entry list for the World Championships in her pet event. Amusan was allowed to be named to the list even though the final date of entry for that list had already passed.

The designation means that Amusan will be cleared to compete, provided she is cleared by the AIU. According to their website, her case is being referred to the disciplinary tribunal where her case will be heard and a decision will be made.

According to the Nigerian newspaper The Punch, Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Samuel Onikeku said the decision could be made in the next few days.

“We are waiting for the ruling of the AIU and it will be before the start of the championships. Once she is cleared we believe that she should compete. We believe in the next six days we should get the ruling,” Onikeku said.

Amusan took the world title last year in Oregon in a campaign that saw her break the world record in the semi-final.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a pre-championship press conference recently, while he does not know the timeline of when a decision will be made, the AIU would take into consideration the timeframe left before the World Championships and also believes that the process outlines the extent of the measures that were taken in order to improve the anti-doping process.

“What we are trying to do is not to instil a lack of confidence. I think a lack of confidence exists and did exist when people were questioning whether we were serious about evolving our anti-doping process. I think people now recognise that it doesn’t matter whether you are a world record holder, there are processes and the whereabouts are a very important part of that process,” Coe had said.