Olympic hurdles champion banned for whereabouts mix-up

Brianna Rollins won gold in the 100 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Reigning Olympic 100m hurdles champion Brianna Rollins has been handed a one-year suspension for failing to properly file whereabouts information for out- of-competition testing, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said Thursday.

Rollins will keep her Olympic gold medal since the US Anti-Doping Agency said her competitive results would only be annulled from September 27, the date of her third whereabouts failure.

USADA said in a statement that the 25-year-old athlete, who led a U.S. podium sweep of the 100m hurdles at the Rio Games, received three "whereabouts failures" over the course of 12 months, which constitutes a doping rule violation.

USADA said Rollins failed to provide whereabouts to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for being unavailable for testing on April 27, 2016.

Sally Pearson will not race one of her fiercest 100m hurdles rivals at the world championships after Olympic champion Brianna Rollins was banned 12 months for missing drug tests.

In their written decision, the arbitration panel described the case as hard because it involved "the imposition of a serious penalty on a brilliant athlete who is not charged or suspected of using banned substances of any kind".

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The 25-year-old former Clemson University star testified that she thought the system would automatically update her data to indicate she would be away from home after she entered notice that she would be competing in the Drake Relays in Iowa in late April.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency rules, athletes can not miss three tests in a 12-month period. This is a very unpleasant experience, but I am able to see where errors were made. "I will accept the sanction and prepare myself for my return in 2018".

"The two conceded whereabouts failures, Incidents 2 and 3, were when she was travelling to have a parade in her honour in her hometown in Florida and to celebrate "Brianna Rollins Day" and when she went to visit the White House to be feted by the President".

Athletes are required to be available for one hour each day for testing under global anti-doping regulations.

Rollins won Rio gold in the absence of Pearson and world record-holder Kendra Harrison in the unremarkable time of 12.48 seconds. "As agreed by Claimant she shows no evidence of avoiding testing, masking drug use, or using drugs".

Rollins released a statement accepting responsibility, "It is with my deepest regrets that I will have to miss the 2017 outdoor season". "It did nothing to inquire with its athlete as to the circumstances and to assure future compliance".

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