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Sprinter Alex Wilson out of Olympics due to doping case

Wilson at a race meeting in Lucerne in June. Keystone / Urs Flueeler

Wilson’s provisional ban for an anti-doping violation, which had been suspended by Swiss Olympic, has been reinstated with immediate effect, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Wednesday.

This content was published on July 28, 2021 - 16:38
Reuters/Keystone-SDA/dos

Jamaica-born Wilson, who is registered to compete for Switzerland in the men’s 100m and 200m events in Tokyo, was provisionally suspended by Swiss anti-doping authorities in April.

He had tested positive for the banned steroid trenbolone in an out-of-competition test in March.

Wilson appealed the suspension on the grounds that he had unknowingly ingested the substance after eating contaminated meat in the United States.

His ban was lifted by the disciplinary chamber of Swiss Olympic, the umbrella organisation for Swiss sport and the National Olympic Committee, at the start of July.

However, global governing body World Athletics appealed Swiss Olympic’s decision to lift the provisional suspension to the CAS, which set aside the decision and re-imposed the ban.

“The Panel concluded that the provisional suspension imposed on the Athlete on 28 April 2021 should not have been lifted by the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic,” CAS said in a statement on Wednesday.

“It follows that the decision of the disciplinary chamber of Swiss Olympic dated 2 July 2021 is set aside and the provisional suspension shall be reinstated with immediate effect.”

“The present CAS decision does not prejudge in any way the decision which will be rendered by Swiss Olympic later on, once the disciplinary proceedings have been completed.”

Swiss Olympic has underlined that the presumption of innocence still holds for Wilson.

On Wednesday, Wilson told the Keystone-SDA news agency it was “unfair” that international athletics and anti-doping bodies took up the case again after Swiss authorities had cleared him. He reiterated that he had ingested the steroid through eating meat, something for which “nobody can criticise [him]”.

Wilson was also in the headlines two weeks ago after notching the times of 9.84 seconds and 19.29 seconds in the 100m and 200m races at an event in the US. But the times (which would have been a European record, in the case of the 100m race) were not officially recognised after glitches were found in the technical equipment used at the small stadium in Marietta, Georgia.

The case also comes after Swiss 400-metre hurdler Kariem Hussein was last week removed from the Swiss Olympic squad due to an unconnected anti-doping infringement.

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