The world 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser has escaped a doping ban on a technicality – after one among her missed drug assessments was struck off resulting from a “confused” tester knocking on a door containing fuel canisters by mistake.
An impartial tribunal discovered that a doping management officer who had come to check Naser in Bahrain in April 2019 had been thrown off by the weird numbering system on the buildings round her residence.
Consequently, the tester spent an hour knocking on a door that “was actually a storage unit and contained plenty of fuel canisters that are instantly seen while you search for above the door”, the report mentioned, including: “It could have been comical had been the results not so severe.”
Nonetheless, the report was sympathetic to the doping management officer, saying the “numbering on the doorways is extraordinarily complicated,” including: “It was apparent that he was anxious and dedicated to do every little thing doable to find and take a look at the athlete and took his duties very severely.”
Underneath Wada guidelines, any mixture of three whereabouts failures – submitting failures or missed assessments – inside a 12-month interval by an athlete constitutes an anti-doping violation.
Naser, who ran the third-fastest 400m in historical past when successful gold on the world championships in Doha final 12 months, additionally had two different missed assessments – on 12 March 2019 and 24 January 2020 – and a submitting failure on 16 March 2019 towards her upheld by the disciplinary tribunal.
Nonetheless, the 22-year-old was not banned as submitting failures are backdated to the beginning of every quarter – on this case 1 January – which meant she had not technically had three failures in a 12-month interval. The tribunal appeared important of Naser, mentioning she had not put a phone quantity in her World Anti-Doping Company athlete system (Adams), and in addition lived in an residence with no intercom or buzzer.
“The athlete didn’t assist herself in lots of regards,” it mentioned. “She may have entered explanatory info on ADAMS, as is recommended within the AIU whereabouts notices she receives quarterly, which might have prevented the confusion of numbers and given extra info to help a DCO.”
The report mentioned Naser has been “topic to the whereabouts regime for some years” however had by no means efficiently been in a position to enter her particulars into the web Adams system, even with the assistance of her boyfriend, regardless of frequent makes an attempt.
The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping instances in monitor and discipline, can enchantment the choice to the court docket of arbitration for sport inside 30 days.
Naser has but to remark however in June she mentioned: “I’ve by no means been a cheat. I’ll by no means be. I solely missed three drug assessments, which is regular. It occurs. It could actually occur to anyone. I don’t need individuals to get confused in all this as a result of I’d by no means cheat.
“I’d by no means take performance-enhancing medicine. I imagine in expertise, and I do know I’ve the expertise.”