Swiss hurdler loses doping ban appeal on eve of Olympics

Kariem Hussein, pictured here competing in 2012, insists he did not dope on purpose. Keystone / Urs Flueeler

Swiss athlete Kariem Hussein will not be travelling to Tokyo to take part in the Olympic Games having failed in a last ditch bid to overturn a doping ban.

This content was published on July 23, 2021 - 10:12

The verdict was made public by Swiss Athletics on the day the Olympic Games opens. Hussein had tested positive in June for the substances nikethamide and N-ethylnicotinamide that are contained in common lozenges.

While the substances are permitted during training, they are banned for athletes who are competing in events. Hussein tested positive during a doping test at the Swiss championships in June and the nine-month ban was imposed by the Swiss Olympic body on July 16.

“This case demonstrates that the control system in Switzerland works with Antidoping Switzerland acting as an independent control body,” stated Philipp BandiExternal link, head of competitive sports at Swiss Athletics on Friday. “For Swiss Athletics, doping prevention is of great importance and this case demonstrates the high degree of responsibility expected of athletes.”

Hussein, who won the European 400 metre hurdle title in 2014, says he was unaware that he could not take the Gly-Coramin lozenge to combat hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels). “I made a mistake with grave consequences. I’m sorry. But anyone who knows me knows I’ll keep going,” the 32-year-old tweeted on Friday.

In a video Hussein, who is a trained doctor, said he took the lozenge in front of a doping control officer, which led him to believe he was doing nothing wrong.

During the Swiss championship event in June, Hussein ran a fast enough time in the 400 metre hurdles to qualify for the Olympic Games.

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