Olympic Champion Brianna McNeal Loses Appeal Against 5-Year Ban

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Brianna McNeal, the American Olympic champion in the 100-meter hurdles, lost her appeal against a five-year ban for breaching anti-doping regulations on Friday, preventing her from defending her title at the Tokyo Olympics.

McNeal’s challenge to the suspension issued by track and field authorities for “tampering or attempted tampering with any component of doping monitoring” was denied by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The court, as well as the Athletics Integrity Unit in track and field, have been tight-lipped about the case. On Friday, no specific verdict was released.

In an interview with the New York Times published before the Swiss court’s decision, McNeal disclosed the backdrop of the case.

The issue, according to the 29-year-old athlete, stemmed from his skipping a drug check in January 2020 while recovering from a pregnancy termination procedure.

McNeal said she updated the date on medical records after a misunderstanding when the procedure took place in a subsequent discussion with the AIU to verify the information.

Because this is her second doping rule violation, her suspension is lengthier than most. McNeal missed the 2017 season due to a one-year suspension for failing to take drug tests.

Last month, she was permitted to compete in the US Olympic trials pending the outcome of her expedited appeal to CAS, and she finished second to provisionally qualify for the squad.

The Olympic champion from Rio de Janeiro in 2016 also won the 100 hurdles at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

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