Olympic Champ Brianna Rollins-McNeal Is Provisionally Suspended For An Anti-Doping Violation For Second Time

By Robert Johnson
January 14, 2021

Today, the Athletics Integrity Unit announced that 2016 Olympic 100m hurdle champ Briana Rollins-McNeal of the United States has been suspended for an anti-doping violation, again.

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Rollins-McNeal, who was one of America’s four individual track gold medallists in Rio, has been provisionally suspended for violating Article 2.5 of the World Anti-Doping Code, which is described as “tampering or attempted tampering with any part of the doping control by an athlete or other person.”

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This is Rollins-McNeal’s second suspension for an anti-doping rules violation. In 2017, Rollins-McNeal was suspended for one year for missing three drug tests. In that case, her ban was reduced from the standard two years to one due to “exceptional circumstances” as two of the missed tests came on unique days — one during which she was honored with Brianna Rollins Day in her hometown and one in which she was being honored by the President at the White House. In their 2017 ruling, the arbitrators were effusive their praise of Rollins, writing:

“This is a difficult case because it involves the imposition of a serious penalty on a brilliant athlete who is not charged or suspected of using banned substances of any kind. Respondent is justly admired. Respondent won an Olympic gold medal during the months in question. She has never previously been charged with an anti-doping rule violation. She successfully submitted to in-competition tests eight times and out-of-competition tests eight times during 2016.”

No details have emerged as to what Rollins-McNeal is alleged to have done this time to be suspended. If her suspension is upheld, Rollins is likely facing a ban of five to eight years. The standard ban for a violation of Article 2.5 is four years. But since this would be her second suspension, the rules would require her to sit out at least one extra year (the length of her first ban) but could result in the standard four-year ban being doubled to eight years “based on the entirety of the circumstances and the Athlete or other Person’s degree of Fault with respect to the second violation.” If she’s able to show her violation of Article 2.5 for tampering was the result of “exceptional circumstances” — this seems unlikely since tampering, logically, would be an intentional offense — then this second ban would be three to four years long.

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Talk about Brianna Rollins-McNeal’s doping suspension on our messageboard: MB Brianna Rollins-McNeal – one of America’s 4 track Olympic gold medalists in 2016 – is banned (again) for tampering

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