Naser, who last year ran the fastest time in the world since 1985, is provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures
By Jonathan Gault
June 5, 2020
The Athletics Integrity Unit announced on Friday that 2019 world 400-meter champion Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain has been provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures. If convicted, Naser faces a ban of up to two years. No further details were announced.
Naser, 22, ran 48.14 in last year’s World Championship final to defeat Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo. Naser’s time was the fastest in the world since 1985; only Czechoslovakia’s Jarmila Kratochvílová and East Germany’s Marita Koch, both of whom are strongly suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs, have ever run faster.
There are two types of whereabouts failures: missed tests (when a doping control officer attempts to drug test an athlete during their daily one-hour window and the athlete is not available) and filing failures (in which an athlete’s whereabouts information is inaccurate or incomplete). Three whereabouts failures in a 12-month span triggers a suspension. It is not yet known which combination led to Naser’s suspension.
Naser was born in Nigeria but switched her allegiance to Bahrain in 2014.
Naser’s agent, Juan Pineda, said he did not know Naser had been banned until LetsRun.com called him on Friday morning. He referred inquiries instead to the Bahrain Athletics Association.
“You have more information than me,” Pineda said. “…This information, you are giving me now.”
Pineda has represented several other athletes banned for anti-doping violations, including former half marathon world record holder Abraham Kiptum of Kenya, Eritrean-born 2019 European cross country champion Robel Fsiha of Sweden, and Moroccan-born 1500 runner Sadik Mikhou of Bahrain.
Naser is also the latest in a line of high-profile Bahraini athletes to be suspended for anti-doping violations, a list that also includes 2016 Olympic steeplechase champion and former world record holder Ruth Jebet, 2016 Olympic marathon silver medalist Eunice Kirwa, and 2016 world indoor 400 champ Kemi Adekoya.
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From The Archives
2020: MB: Juan Pineda – one athlete dead at 22, one athlete busted for doping, both within 48 hours
2019: MB: On what kind of stuff is Salwa Eid Naser?
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2018: MB: Juan Pineda “handler” in Spain- Is Jama Aden really still coaching his athletes?