Spain’s world 5,000 metres silver medallist Mo Katir has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for missing three doping tests in the past year.
The 25-year-old is the world record-holder in the indoor 3,000 metres and the European record-holder in the outdoor 5,000m. He won silver in the 5,000m at the world athletics championships last year in Budapest, and bronze in the 1,500m at the worlds in Eugene, Oregon a year earlier.
Katir will appeal, he said in a statement.
“I consider that there is no violation arising from three location failures in the last 12 months,” Katir said. “In some of the location failures reported by the AIU, I was available at the place, date and time provided by me.”
The Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) said it was committed to rigorous compliance with the national and international legal framework on doping.
“Consequently, once the official notification regarding the opening of the file was received by the World Athletics Integrity Unit, the athlete’s licence was immediately suspended,” the RFEA said in a statement.
“It is necessary to emphasise that the integrity of the competition and the spirit of sportsmanship constitute the fundamental pillars of a clean and fair sport, and must be defended above any sporting achievement.”
Katir said he has been subjected to a large number of out-of-competition doping tests of both urine and blood samples over the past few months “without the slightest problem on my part”.
“It is important to keep in mind that we are not dealing with a case of violating doping rules for the use of prohibited substances or methods, or even for evading out-of-competition doping controls,” Katir’s statement added.
“This is a simple file derived from the completion of location data on the (platform athletes use to report their whereabouts) that could generate location errors.”
Athletes must log their whereabouts to undergo unannounced out-of-competition tests. Three strikes resulted in a whereabouts violation.