Olympic champ McNeal appeals after being handed five-year anti-doping suspension

The Rio 2016 women's 100m hurdles champion was found guilty by an Athletics Integrity Unit disciplinary tribunal of tampering with doping control.

By ZK Goh
Picture by 2016 Getty Images

Brianna McNeal, the Rio 2016 champion in the women's 100m hurdles (racing under her maiden name Brianna Rollins), has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after being suspended from athletics for five years.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent arbiter set up by World Athletics in 2017 to rule on anti-doping violations and cases, found the American guilty of violating Article 2.5 of World Athletics' Anti-Doping Rules: Tampering with any part of Doping Control.

The 2013 world champion's suspension, which was first announced as a provisional suspension in February, has been backdated to start on 15 August 2020.

However, while her appeal is underway, she is eligible to continue competing as CAS has stayed the suspension, and may take part in the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials at the end of June.

The decision, made a disciplinary tribunal on 21 April, was announced by the AIU on Friday (4 June).

Although the maximum penalty for tampering with doping control is listed at four years, McNeal previously served a one-year ban in 2017 for missing three drugs tests, which meant the maximum possible suspension she faced this time was doubled to eight years.

McNeal's appeal is set to be heard by CAS before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021 begin.

At the time of her provisional suspension being announced in February, McNeal said she was "very clean, very honest and transparent".

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