World 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser insisted she has “never been a cheat” after being provisionally suspended, describing her three missed doping tests in a 12-month span as “normal”.
Naser was charged with whereabouts failures in a statement released by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) this week.
Nigerian by birth, Naser switched allegiance to Bahrain six years ago and won 400m gold in 48.14 seconds – the third-fastest time ever – at the World Championships in Doha back in October.
Speaking on an Instagram Live video, the 22-year-old said: “I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be.
“I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens. It can happen to anybody. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat.
“This year I have not been drug tested. We are still talking about the ones of last season before the World Championships.
“Hopefully, it’ll get resolved because I don’t really like the image, but it has happened. It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name.
“I would never take performance-enhancing drugs. I believe in talent, and I know I have the talent.”
World Athletics rules stipulate that athletes will be guilty of a violation if they have a combination of three missed tests or filing failures across a 12-month period.
Athletes face up to a two-year ban for whereabouts violations.