2017 World long jump champion Luvo Manyonga of South Africa on Friday received a four-year ban from the sport for whereabouts failures, his second violation of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.
Whereabout failures critical tools in holding athletes accountable to drug testing dates. They help prevent athletes from just running away from a positive test.
The ban was backdated to December 23, 2020 and all his results from the beginning of October 2020 were disqualified, according to a statement from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). The decision can be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 30 days.
The normal sanction for whereabouts failures is a two-year ban but since Manyonga failed to provide an adequate explanation for his missed tests, it was regarded as a second offence and his ban doubled to four years.
“The athlete has made no submission in mitigation based on his degree of fault. Therefore, World Athletics submits at this point that a four-year period of ineligibility must be imposed,” the AIU said.
In January, Manyonga was provisionally suspended for three breaches of anti-doping rules within 12 months in November 2019 and April and October 2020.
A whereabouts failure against an athlete will be recorded if they fail to submit their whereabouts by the required deadline, have not provided updated or sufficient details to administrators, or are not available for testing in an agreed 60-minute time slot.
According to World Athletics’ anti-doping rules, any combination of three whereabouts failures within 12 months is a violation.
The Olympic silver medalist, who has also battled drug addiction, was also banned from athletics for 18 months in 2012 after testing positive for crystal meth.
In May last year, Manyonga was fined for public drinking and violating South Africa’s strict lockdown restrictions.