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14 Jul, 2021 16:23

Record-holding British medal hope ‘could miss Olympics after cocaine is found in in-competition sample’, claims The Times

Record-holding British medal hope ‘could miss Olympics after cocaine is found in in-competition sample’, claims The Times

British outlet The Times has claimed that a top British runner who broke a record held by World Athletics boss and two-time Olympic king Sebastian Coe last month has provided a drugs test sample containing small traces of cocaine.

Briefly the holder of the world-leading outdoor 800m time for the year after breaking Coe's record for under-23s, Oliver Dustin booked his place on the British team for Tokyo 2020 with another impressive run in Manchester less than three weeks ago.

The 20-year-old has not raced since and has consulted lawyers after returning an adverse analytical finding for traces of a cocaine metabolite following an in-competition test in France, according to The Times.

The outlet said that French anti-doping authorities are managing the matter, with a claim that the sample has been contaminated one of the options open to Dustin in what would be a long process, the report said.

Dustin could still compete at the Olympics, the newspaper said, if he accepts responsibility, can prove the alleged cocaine was ingested out of competition and was then ordered to serve a one-month ban while agreeing to take an education course.

The latest World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules say: “If the athlete can establish that any ingestion or use occurred out-of-competition and was unrelated to sport performance, then the period of ineligibility shall be three months' ineligibility.

“In addition, the period of ineligibility calculated... may be reduced to one month if the athlete or other person satisfactorily completes a Substance of Abuse treatment program approved by the Anti-Doping Organization with Results Management responsibility.”

America's top female sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, received a four-week ban earlier this month after testing positive for cannabis, keeping her out of the Olympics because her positive test emerged after she won her country's trials over 100m.

The Times said that UK Athletics had declined to comment, while Dustin’s agent, Stephen Haas, was said to have described the news of a positive test to the outlet as “not factual at this point” and offered no further comment.

Writing after securing his place at the Olympics with a second-placed finish after a thriller in Manchester, the European Athletics U20 Championships gold medalist in 2019 told his thousands of social media followers: "See you in Tokyo.

"Big shout-out to my team for the massive support – I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. Back to work, living the dream."

Also on rt.com ‘Rules are rules’: Biden wades into US sprinter’s cannabis ban as anti-doping body accused of RACISM

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