Salwa Eid Naser: Women’s 400m world champion says missing three drugs tests is ‘normal’

“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be,” says Bahraini athlete Naser

Last Updated: 06/06/20 10:14pm

Salwa Eid Naser insists she is not a cheat after her provisional suspension for missing three drugs test in 12 months

Women’s 400m world champion Salwa Eid Naser has responded to her provisional suspension from athletics by claiming that missing three drugs tests in a 12-month period “is normal”.

Naser, who won gold for Bahrain in one of the biggest upsets of last year’s World Championships, was charged and suspended with whereabouts violations by the Athletics Integrity Unit this week.

Three violations within 12 months can lead to a suspension if the athlete in question cannot justify why they were not available for testing, but the 22-year-old has said in an Instagram live video that her violations were not unusual.

“I only missed three drug tests, which is normal,” said Naser. “It happens. It can happen to anybody. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat.

“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be.”

Naser, who could be banned for two years, also claimed that her missed tests came before her World Championships victory in Doha.

“This year, I have not been drug tested. We are still talking about the ones of last season before the World Championships,” she added.

Naser won 400m gold at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha

Naser won 400m gold at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha

Naser, who was born in Nigeria and moved to Bahrain at the age of 14, won the world title in October, finishing in 48.14 seconds, the fastest time by any woman since 1985, and the third-fastest time in history.

“Hopefully, it’ll get resolved because I don’t really like the image, but it has happened,” she said.

“It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name. I would never take performance-enhancing drugs.

“I believe in talent, and I know I have the talent.”

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