(March 16) – Raven Saunders, the silver medallist in women’s shot put at the Tokyo Olympics, has been suspended for 18 months for violating whereabouts rules, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The agency stated that three whereabouts failures within 12 months constitute a rule violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.
USADA added that Saunders’ ineligibility began on August 15, 2022, which was the date of her third whereabouts failure. Her competitive results from that date have also been disqualified. The athlete will miss the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in July, as well as the World Championships in Budapest in August.
However, she will be able to compete at next year’s Paris Olympics. Read More: – Noah Lyles finishes 3rd in 60m season opener in Florida
“The accumulation of three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period constitutes a rule violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing … and the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules,” USADA said in a release on Wednesday.
Saunders responded to the suspension in a Twitter post. She wrote, “as a veteran, I definitely should’ve done better, and I take full responsibility for my actions.
“I didn’t fail a test for any substance and was tested again after each of my missed test (sic). I’ve always been an advocate of clean sport …”
During the Tokyo Games, the 26-year-old Saunders was a fan favorite, sporting green and purple hair, and a grinning ‘Joker’ mask.
Saunders finished runner-up to China’s Gong Lijiao in Tokyo with a throw of 19.79m, which is ranked No. 1 among her best-ever throws.