World 400m champion Naser missed four anti-doping tests, AIU says

Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Nigerian-born Bahraini runner Salwa Eid Naser missed more anti-doping tests than she previously claimed, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

The AIU issued a statement on Sunday saying Naser missed four anti-doping tests as opposed to claims by the runner that she had missed three.

“The investigation into Ms Naser’s three whereabouts failures in 2019 was ongoing at the time of the Doha World Championships and she was not provisionally suspended at that time,” the statement read in part.

“Following conclusion of the investigation and a fourth whereabouts failure in January 2020, a notice of charge was issued and Ms Naser subject to an immediate provisional suspension.”

The AIU said that the disciplinary process was ongoing and it would not comment further on the case.

On Friday, the AIU announced that Naser, the World 400 metres champion, was provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures. A whereabouts violation constitutes of any combination of three missed tests or filing failures in a 12-month period, according to the World Athletics anti-doping rules.

Athletes found guilty of such an offence could face a two year ban or a minimum of one year depending on the severity of the offence.

On Saturday, Naser took to Instagram to defend herself saying that the three missed tests happened prior to the World Championships in September.

“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be. I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat.”

“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.”

In claiming the World title in Doha last year, Naser won the event in a time of 48.14 seconds, the third-fastest time in history.

Naser, a World silver medalist in 2017, was born in Nigeria to a Nigerian mother, who was also a sprinter, and a Bahraini father. She switched her allegiance to Bahrain in 2014.