Olympic hurdles champion Rollins handed one-year ban

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Her gold medal, part of a medals sweep by USA 100-meter hurdlers at the Rio Games previous year, will not be stripped.

AMERICAN OLYMPIC champion Brianna Rollins has been banned for a year for missing three drugs tests in 2016.

The sprinter was a member of the USADA registered testing pool, which consists of a select group of athletes who are subject to certain whereabouts requirements in order to be located for out-of-competition testing.

The panel also said this about Rollins, "However, this is a first offense, she had been frequently tested for years, and she has a flawless drug-free record, both in and out-of-competition".

In a statement, the American Arbitration Association, which ruled on the case, said it had sympathy for Rollins, who has run the fourth-fastest 100m hurdles' time in history, because of the unusual circumstances surrounding two of her three missed tests. She'll miss the entire outdoor season this year. The other was when she visited President Obama in the White House.

In their written decision, the arbitration panel described the case as hard because it involved "the imposition of a serious penalty on a brilliant athlete who is not charged or suspected of using banned substances of any kind". This is a very unpleasant experience, but I am able to see where errors were made.

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Rollins received a whereabouts failure from the IAAF for being unavailable for testing on April 27 and another from USADA on September 13. On Thursday, she lost her competitive eligibility for 2017 for making a mistake on a drop-down menu when filling out online anti-doping forms.

She was unavailable for tests on April 27, September 13 and September 27 past year. The tester showed up at her home at 7:08 am.

Under current World Anti-Doping Agency rules, three strikes in a 12-month period leads to an automatic ban, although the United States Anti-Doping Agency admitted it had sympathy for the 25-year-old. Understanding this will prevent any similar issues in the future, I will accept the sanction and work to prepare myself for my return in 2018.

The arbitrators added that Rollins showed "no evidence of avoiding testing, masking drug use, or using drugs".

Two of the missed tests came after she won Olympic gold. The panel notes that neither her agency, Stellar Athletics, nor USATF did anything to assist Rollins after she had two missed tests to ensure she didn't miss a third.

In a statement posted on her official Instagram account, Rollins said: "Unfortunately I will not compete in the 2017 season, due to three missed tests with USADA".

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