Nigel Levine banned: British sprinter suspended for four years after anti-doping rule violation

Standard sport
AFP/Getty Images

British sprinter Nigel Levine has been suspended from all sport for a period of four years following an anti-doping rule violation, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has announced.

Levine failed a drugs test on November 24 last year and it emerged in February that he had been provisionally suspended.

In an announcement of the four-year ban on Tuesday, UKAD said the 29-year-old's ban will be backdated to December 13 2017 and run until December 12 2021.

Levine, an indoor and outdoor European 4x400 metre relay champion, failed the test having only just returned to training after being involved in a serious motorbike accident with team-mate James Ellington in January 2017.

Widely used to treat asthma, clenbuterol has also been abused by athletes and bodybuilders to burn fat and boost aerobic capacity, hence its place on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list.

UKAD's full statement read: "British sprinter Nigel Levine has been suspended from all sport for a period of four years following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV).

"Mr Levine tested positive for the presence of the prohibited substance clenbuterol, an Anabolic Agent, following an Out-of-Competition test on 24 November 2017.

"Mr Levine was charged with an ADRV pursuant to Article 2.1 of the Anti-Doping Rules – “Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample"

"The period of ineligibility shall apply from the date of provisional suspension (13 December 2017) until midnight on 12 December 2021."

UKAD Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead, said: "All athletes must adhere to the principle of strict liability, and are solely responsible for any substances found in their system.

"Mr Levine is an elite athlete, who has competed at the Olympic Games, European and World Championships, and has received significant anti-doping education throughout his career.

"It is up to role models such as Mr Levine to uphold the highest standards when it comes to anti-doping, ensuring they check all supplements thoroughly and are 100 per cent certain they know that what they are consuming is not prohibited."

More to follow.