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Abortion, drug test failure, record changes cause problems | Sports

Briana McNeill, the 2016 Olympic champion of the 100-meter hurdles who participated in the second US Olympic team last month, does not expect to tell anyone other than her husband and spiritual adviser about the abortion that occurred in January 2020. It was. Certainly not a World Athletics Championships. , A global governing body for tracks and fields. Absolutely not common.

McNeil mysteriously said when interviewed after finishing second in the Olympic trial final and passing qualifying. You don’t understand how much I have experienced this year. I am very emotional. “

However, in two interviews this week, McNeil said he felt he had to divulge his personal information to fight the ban on doping and reveal his name, and gave his first public explanation.

Last month, 29-year-old McNeil was suspended for five years for “tampering within the results management process” in connection with missing a doping test two days after the abortion. McNeil said he was in bed recovering from surgery and had not heard anti-doping officials arriving at the front door of his home in Northridge, California.

The suspension followed a one-year ban she received four years ago because she missed three tests in 12 months. In that case, McNeil said he forgot to update his whereabouts twice with a system that tracks athletes for random testing. The third time she said she made a mistake in entering the time she could handle.

She said she is moving forward to discuss abortion right now because she wants people to know that the current suspension does not include anything like tampering with urine samples. She said, “I’m not doping, I’ll never dope.”

McNeil has not been accused of doping. Some flaws in the document she submitted to prove that she had an abortion are the reasons why her hurdle career may have virtually ended if her ban was upheld.

The Swiss Court of Arbitration for Sport is considering her proceedings and will make a decision by Friday, her lawyer said. If the court does not rule in her favor, McNeil will not compete in the Olympics and Gavikaningham, who finished fourth in the US trial, will replace her in Tokyo.

“Now I feel excommunicated and stigmatized by the sport itself, and it’s unfair to me,” McNeil said in a video call. “I don’t believe this justifies the suspension at all, let alone the five-year suspension was an honest mistake at a very emotional time for technical reasons.”

Regarding sports anti-doping authorities, she added: “They say they protect clean athletes, but I don’t feel protected at all. Judging by this tremendous decision that has had a huge impact on my life. I feel like I’m there. “

World Athletics did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

McNeil’s case highlights the question of how much anti-doping authorities must do or go to catch athletes who use banned drugs while protecting the rights of clean athletes. There is.

Anti-doping rulebooks are getting thicker and more nuanced, making it more complicated for clean athletes to follow all the rules. Drug testing technology has become more sensitive. That is, the results show very little trace of the banned drug (perhaps ingested by ingesting contaminated food). Still, athletes and their handlers continue to provide bizarre excuses for missing or failing drug tests, making it difficult for anti-doping authorities to mitigate every part of their quest to keep sports clean.

For example, the excuse that Russian high jump Danil Lysenko missed the test was that a drug inspector was undergoing a medical test at the hospital when he was looking for him. Eventually, the doctor’s name on the documents submitted in his defense turned out to be fake, and the hospital itself did not exist. However, other cases are complex, and anti-doping authorities need to decide how strict the rules apply when it is important to catch athletes who are deliberately cheating.

“No one wants document violations or other mistakes to prevent clean athletes from realizing their dreams,” said Travis Tigert, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency. He added that he was not involved in and had never seen it. Detailed documentation for it.

In recent years, some anti-doping authorities have shown that violations search for even fraudulent bread crumbs, even if the breach does not prove that the athlete is doping. The fairness is controversial, especially if the athlete makes a clear mistake.

On January 12, 2020, a drug tester knocked on McNeil’s door, but did not receive a reply. No one answered her phone. Eighteen days later, the Athletics Integrity Unit, which investigates doping in athletics, asked McNeil for clarification. She didn’t have to answer. She missed just one test in 12 months, and it takes three to cause a doping breach.

In an interview this week, McNeil explained that he wanted to remain transparent to investigators and received “surprising medical procedures” while taking the drug and leaving it in bed. She wanted to protect her privacy and didn’t reveal any further details. However, she requested the abortion clinic for a doctor’s note confirming an unnamed medical procedure.

When the memo arrived about a month after the abortion, McNeil said he mistakenly thought the clinic had the wrong date for the procedure. So she changed the date from January 10, 2020 to January 11, 2020, two days before she missed the drug test.

The Athletics Integrity Unit noticed the change and called for further documentation. McNeil submitted two more notes from the same doctor and changed both dates. Investigators saw it and asked the clinic for her medical records. McNeil sent a document to prove that she wasn’t lying about the procedure. Later, investigators confirmed that the date of surgery was actually January 10, and she had finished her pregnancy.

“I tried to keep the abortion private, but they kept tinkering with me and asked for more information,” McNeil said. “I couldn’t believe I was charged with the breach because the dates were confused for only 24 hours. It’s not that the procedure wasn’t taken.”

At a disciplinary hearing, World Athletics argued that McNeil should know better than changing notes in the clinic without checking the date of the procedure.

In the proceedings against her, World Athletics said she did not believe the procedure was dated incorrectly because she was traumatized by the abortion, McNeill said. After all, the organization said she continued to post on social media and was competing in the weeks that followed.

McNeil said investigators accused her of meeting a psychiatrist instead of a psychiatrist while suffering from post-abortion depression.

“I said to them,’Oh, really? For me growing up in a black community, that’s how we deal with everything. We go to church and talk to pastors and spiritual advisers.” She said. “I feel like they weren’t compassionate at all.”

As a Christian, McNeil said he felt guilty about having an abortion so he could play in the 2020 match. She said she was further crushed when the game was postponed until 2021. Because the delay meant that she might have been able to give birth in the end.

She said that McNeil was so upset and confused by the abortion that it didn’t happen to her that changing the date would be bad.

Howard Jacobs, one of her lawyers, said she was surprised that the Athletics Integrity Unit filed a proceeding against McNeil when she could easily retreat based on the sensitivity of the situation. Stated. He said the Athletics Federation was more active than any other federation in pursuing this type of incident.

“The question is how far we go and how rational it is,” Jacobs said. “This case leaves a really bad taste in my mouth because they didn’t have to go ahead. I’m really struggling with it.”

Abortion, drug test failure, record changes cause problems | Sports

Source link Abortion, drug test failure, record changes cause problems | Sports

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