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Olympic sprinter Deejah Stevens banned until after Tokyo Olympics for missing 3 drug tests

2020-07-19

One American sprinter’s next challenger will likely be a urine sample.

Deejah Stevens, a 200-meter-run specialist will miss the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics after three consecutive missed drug tests in 2019, reported NBC Sports on Thursday.

The 25-year-old athlete has been suspended through Aug. 15, 2021 — one week after the games’ scheduled closing ceremony.

The 18-month ban’s start date began Feb. 17, the date that Stevens requested her case be expedited, according to NBC Sports.

At the 2016 Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, she placed seventh in the 200 meters.

Stevens’ attorney argued that the suspension should be backdated to the third missed test of Nov. 25., which would have kept her Olympic hopes alive.

The star blamed her second missed drug on a dead phone battery. She alleges that she didn’t hear the drug taker knocking on her front door because she was in a back bedroom nor did she hear the person calling five times because Stevens’ cellphone wasn’t charged.

Then the third time, Stevens — who in 2017 was ranked No. 3. in the U.S. in the 200 meters, according to World Athletics — claims she had changed her phone number six weeks earlier and never furnished the organization with her new digits.

“Despite our sympathy for the athlete, we have not been satisfied on a balance of probability that her behavior was not negligent and did not cause or contribute to her failure to be available for testing,” ruled a disciplinary panel. “She already had missed two doping tests tin the last six months. She should have been on red alert and conscious that she could not miss the next one.”

The 2020 games, which were postponed a year due to the global coronavirus outbreak, are scheduled to commence on July 23, 2021.