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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Pa Sport Staff

CJ Ujah banned for 22 months for failed drug test at Tokyo Olympics

PA Archive

CJ Ujah has been cleared of “intentionally” doping but the Great Britain sprinter must still serve a 22-month suspension.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) have confirmed that the Team GB 100m star did not deliberately take banned drugs, offering him a reprieve after he faced the prospect of a four-year ban.

The 28-year-old returned a positive drug test for two prohibited substances, ostarine and S-23.

But the former world champion will now be free to return to competition next year and is now available for the World Championships in Budapest.

Team GB’s men’s 4x100m relay team will not have their Olympic silver medal reinstated, however, after Ujah, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake initially finished second in Tokyo behind Italy.

Despite an investigation proving Ujah was not aware he was taking a banned substance, Wada’s strict liability rules place responsibility on the athlete for everything that enters their body.

An AIU statement released on Monday said: “The AIU and Wada were satisfied that the sprinter’s anti-doping rule violation was not intentional as a result of his ingestion of a contaminated supplement and the applicable two-year period of ineligibility was reduced by two months on account of how promptly he admitted the violation.”

Ujah will officially be able to run from 5 June 2023, giving him a two-month build-up for the World Championships in Budapest, which start on 19 August.

“In this case, after a thorough examination of the facts, we were satisfied that Mr Ujah did indeed ingest a contaminated supplement, but he was unable to demonstrate that he was entitled to any reduction in the applicable period of ineligibility based on his level of fault,” said AIU head Brett Clothier.

“Taking supplements is risky for athletes as they can be contaminated or even adulterated with prohibited substances. Athletes owe it to their fellow competitors to be 100 per cent certain before putting anything into their body. If there’s the slightest doubt, leave it out.”

In an apology to his teammates, Ujah explained that he “unknowingly consumed a contaminated supplement”, adding: “I sincerely regret that this has inadvertently led to the forfeiture of the men’s 4x100m relay team’s Olympic silver medals.

“I would like to apologise to my teammates, their families and support teams for the impact which this has had on them. That is something I will regret for the rest of my life.”

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