- U.S. hurdler Brianna McNeal, 29, is accused of violating anti-doping rules and may be banned
- The ban would prevent McNeal from competing at the Tokyo Olympics and the 2024 Games in Paris
- McNeal has appealed the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
- A ruling on the decision will be handed down prior to the Tokyo Games
Brianna McNeal qualified for Tokyo to defend her Olympic title on Sunday, but her Olympic eligibility remains in jeopardy.
McNeal crossed the line in second place in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, earning an all-important top-three spot with Keni Harrison (first place) and Christina Clemons (third). Yet the reigning Olympic champion is in an ongoing appeals battle. She is facing a five-year ban for violating anti-doping rules, an international disciplinary panel ruled earlier this month.
McNeal, 29, is accused of "tampering within the results management process," according to a ruling from the Athletics Integrity Unit, which declined to release the full text of its decision – including specifics about the violation – due to "confidentiality reasons." The AIU runs the anti-doping program for track and field's international governing body.
Brianna McNeal competes in the 100-meter hurdles during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. (Photo: Kirby Lee, Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
McNeal was allowed to compete in the U.S. Olympic trials while her appeal is pending. She did her job on the track by finishing second Sunday.
“I can celebrate this. I’m just happy I had the opportunity to be able to compete here. I thank God for that. It’s been a long journey,” McNeal said. “The next few weeks I’m just going to continue to pray and trust in God to see me through and hope that all things work out for my good. I’m just gonna take it day by day.”
The fourth-place finisher, Gabbi Cunningham, will replace McNeal on the U.S. Olympic team if McNeal’s appeal is denied.
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