Brianna McNeal, Will Not Compete in Tokyo as Five-Year Suspension Is Upheld

by Shine My Crown Staff

Olympic 100m hurdles champion, Brianna McNeal, will not be allowed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics as her five-year suspension was upheld.

McNeal was conditionally suspended in January and hit with a five-year ban a month ago for “tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control,” stemming from a January 2020 missed drug test.

McNeal was forced to publicly admit that she missed the test as she was recovering from an abortion she underwent just two days prior.

McNeal appealed the five-year back. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced its decision on Friday.

The court also stated that “All competitive results obtained by Ms. Brianna McNeal between 13 February 2020 and 14 August 2020 shall be disqualified with all resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, titles, points, prize money and prizes.”

During her appeal, McNeal was allowed to compete at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, where she finished second in the 100m hurdles to qualify for the U.S. team for Tokyo. Now that her appeal has been denied, Gabbi Cunningham, who finished fourth, will most likely be named in her place next week.

McNeal opened up to The New York Times ahead of Friday’s decision.

“Right now I feel excommunicated from the sport itself and stigmatized, and to me it is unfair,” McNeal said. “I just don’t believe that this warranted a suspension at all, much less a five-year suspension, for just a technicality, an honest mistake during a very emotional time.”

She added, “They say that they are protecting athletes that are clean, but I don’t feel protected at all. I just feel like I’m being judged for this very big decision I made that really affected my life.”

The official Olympic team rosters will officially be announced closer to the beginning of the Games on July 23.

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