(Reuters) -American Olympic 100 metres hurdles champion Brianna McNeal has been banned for five years for an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV), the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday, with her participation in the Tokyo Games in doubt until her appeal is heard.
McNeal, who had been charged and provisionally suspended for “tampering within the results management process” in January, was sanctioned by a Disciplinary Tribunal as it was her second violation of World Athletics’ anti-doping rules.
The ban is effective from Aug. 15, 2020. The AIU said McNeal has appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), with the case set to be heard before the July 23-Aug. 8 Tokyo Olympics.
The AIU added that CAS had granted McNeal “provisional relief and temporarily stayed” the tribunal’s decision so she can compete until the end of the U.S. Olympic trials on June 27.
The AIU did not elaborate on its decision for “confidentiality reasons”.
McNeal, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was world champion in 2013, had denied testing positive for any banned substance.
The 29-year-old led a U.S. clean sweep of the 100m hurdles podium at the 2016 Olympics but was banned for a year when she missed three out-of-competition drug tests, which constitutes an ADRV.
Her ban, which was applied for the 2017 season, resulted in her missing the World Championships that year.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru;Editing by Toby Davis)