Sunday 22 September 2019

British Olympic sprinter Nigel Levine handed four-year ban after testing positive for banned substance

Nigel Levine competed at the Rio Olympics
Nigel Levine competed at the Rio Olympics

British sprinter Nigel Levine has been suspended from all sport for four years after testing positive for banned asthma drug clenbuterol, UK Anti-Doping has announced.

The 29-year-old tested positive for the prohibited substance following an out-of-competition test on November 24 last year.

It emerged in February that he had been charged with committing an anti-doping violation and provisionally suspended.

In its announcement of the four-year ban on Tuesday, UKAD said Levine's suspension would be backdated to December 13 2017, the date of the provisional suspension, and run until December 12 2021.

Widely used to treat breathing problems, clenbuterol has also been abused by athletes and bodybuilders to burn fat and boost aerobic capacity, hence its place on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list.

Levine is an indoor and outdoor European 4x400 metres relay champion and competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

He failed the test having only just returned to training after a serious motorbike accident with team-mate James Ellington in Tenerife in January 2017, in which he suffered a broken pelvis.

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said on Tuesday: "All athletes must adhere to the principle of strict liability, and are solely responsible for any substances found in their system.

"Mr Levine is an elite athlete, who has competed at the Olympic Games, European and World Championships, and has received significant anti-doping education throughout his career.

"It is up to role models such as Mr Levine to uphold the highest standards when it comes to anti-doping, ensuring they check all supplements thoroughly and are 100 per cent certain they know that what they are consuming is not prohibited."

PA Media

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