World 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser has been given a provisional suspension for failing to make herself available for anti-doping tests. The Bahraini, 22, ran 48.14 seconds – the third-fastest time in history – to claim the world title in Doha in 2019. She could face a ban of up to two years for the whereabouts violation.
Naser said in an Instagram live video: “I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be. I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens.” Explaining that the missed tests occurred before last September’s World Championships, she added: “Hopefully, it’ll get resolved because I don’t really like the image. It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name.” World Athletics anti-doping rules say a whereabouts violation consists of any combination of three missed tests or filing failures in a 12-month period. Naser, who was born Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu in Nigeria but switched allegiance to Bahrain in 2014, is the first Asian woman to be world champion in the discipline.