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Athletics: Anti-doping charges against world 400m champion Naser dismissed

FILE PHOTO: Bahrain's Salwa Eid Naser before the Doha 2019 World Athletics Championships Women's 400 Metres Final at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

(Reuters) - World 400 metres champion Salwa Eid Naser has been cleared of committing an anti-doping rule violation after a World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal dismissed charges brought against her for registering four “whereabouts failures”.

The 22-year-old, who won gold at the World Championships in Doha last year, was charged and provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in June.

According to World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, any combination of three whereabouts failures -- filing failures or missed tests -- within a 12-month period by an athlete constitutes an anti-doping violation.

Athletes guilty of whereabouts failures could face two-year bans or a minimum of one year depending on the degree of fault.

In Naser’s case, the disciplinary tribunal upheld three of the four AIU charges against her -- a filing failure effective Jan. 1, 2019 and two missed tests, on March 12 last year and Jan. 24 this year.

However, the tribunal found in Naser’s favour with regard to a third alleged missed test on April 12, 2019, which resulted in the charges being dismissed because her three whereabouts failures did not occur within a 12-month rolling period.

"This was a case very much on the borderline and we hope the athlete will learn from the experience and heed the AIU's warnings," the tribunal said in a statement here.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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