WADA President Bańka expresses concern over Naser whereabouts case

 

President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Witold Bańka has expressed concern at the outcome of the Salwa Eid Naser whereabouts case – which cleared the Bahraini sprinter of any wrongdoing.

It comes after the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal dismissed the charges against the women’s 400 metres world champion, who was facing a two-year ban from the sport which would have seen her miss the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

 

The 22-year-old has escaped a ban after a drug tester, Enrique Martinez, knocked on a storage cupboard door rather than Naser’s apartment after numbering on the flat left him confused.

On Twitter, Bańka revealed that WADA would analyse the case and appeal if needed.

“As it relates to Salwa Eid Naser and the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal decision on her case I am concerned,” said Bańka.

“WADA will analyse it carefully and exercise its right to appeal if necessary.”

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) had charged Naser with four alleged whereabouts failures in June, and it was revealed that she was under investigation when she won her world title in Doha last year.

This included a filing failure on March 16, 2019 and three missed tests on March 12 and April 12 of last year and January 24 of this year.

Missing three tests within 12 months is the equivalent of a doping failure and Naser had been provisionally banned after the charges were brought.

However, the Disciplinary Tribunal has ruled the alleged violation in April 2019 should not stand, which means Naser has not missed three tests inside the 12-month window.

Filing failures are always backdated to the start of the quarter so in Naser’s case January 1, 2019.

Martinez was looking for Flat 11 in Naser’s building and found two doors close to one another.

The left-hand door had the number 11 at its side and the right-hand door had the number 954 and an intercom, with the number 12 underneath.

This caused confusion as the numbers 11 and 12 actually referred to car parking spaces and were not apartment numbers.

Naser’s apartment 11 was behind the right-hand door marked 954, and the left-hand door marked 11 was in fact a storage unit containing nothing but gas cannisters.

Martinez knocked every five minutes for the required hour but received no response.

Martinez should not be blamed, the Tribunal ruled, as the door numbering is “extremely confusing”.

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