- American hurdler Brianna McNeal, 29, charged with anti-doping rule violation and could be banned
- Ban would prevent McNeal from competing in Tokyo Olympics and Paris 2024 Games
- McNeal appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
- Decision on decision to be made ahead of Tokyo Games
Brianna McNeal qualified for Tokyo to defend her Olympic title on Sunday, but her Olympic eligibility remains in jeopardy.
McNeal crossed the finish line in second place in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, earning a very important place in the top three with Keni Harrison (first place) and Christina Clemons (third). Still, the reigning Olympic champion is in an ongoing appeal battle. She is facing a five-year ban for anti-doping rule violation, an international disciplinary panel ruled earlier this month.
McNeal, 29, is accused of “tampering with the results management process,” according to a decision by the Athletics Integrity Unit, which declined to release the full text of its decision – including details of violation – for “confidentiality reasons”. The IAU manages the anti-doping program of the international athletics governing body.
McNeal was cleared to compete in the US Olympic Trials while her appeal is pending. She did her job on the track finishing second on Sunday.
“I can celebrate this. I’m just glad I had the opportunity to compete here. I thank God for this. It’s been a long journey, ”said McNeal. “For the next few weeks, I’m just going to keep praying and trusting God to help me and hope that everything will work out for me. I’ll just take it day to day.
Fourth, Gabbi Cunningham, will replace McNeal on the US Olympic team if McNeal’s appeal is dismissed.