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Namibian sprinters Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi have been banned from all races between 400m to 1,600m at the Tokyo Olympics due to “a natural high testosterone level.”
The country’s National Olympic Committee revealed the news in an official statement.
“According to the rules of World Athletics, this means that they are not eligible to participate in events from 400-meter to 1600-meter,” the statement reads. “It is important to understand that both our athletes were not aware of this condition neither did any family member, their coach or the NNOC-CGA [Namibia Olympic Committee] were aware of it.”
Mboma set the world’s U-20 record for the 400m in June, clocking an impressive 48.54 seconds, making her the seventh-fastest athlete in the world. She is just 18 years old.
Masilingi, also 18, ranked third in the world in 2021 behind Mboma and Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas. However, they are not disqualified from competing in the 200m event.
“Both Christine and Beatrice will be able to compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter events”
The World Athletics passed a rule in 2019 that “caps athlete testosterone levels in women’s events from the 400m through the mile,” per NBC Sports.
The bad news comes just a day after American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson apologized for testing positive for marijuana, earning her a 30-day ban from the Olympics.
“I apologize. As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I run track I represent a community… I apologize for the fact that I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”
Richardson revealed that she used marijuana after learning that he biological mother had passed away.
She added, “I’m human, we’re human …I want to be as transparent as possible with you guys whether it’s good or its bad.”