SA's Olympic silver medallist Luvo Manyonga suspended for doping rule breach

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Luvo Manyonga (Getty Images)
Luvo Manyonga (Getty Images)

South African Olympic long jump silver medallist Luvo Manyonga has been temporarily banned for failing to notify anti-doping authorities of his location, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Friday.

Manyonga, who also celebrated his 30th birthday on Friday, finished second at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

He now faces the prospect of missing the rescheduled Tokyo Games later this year.

"The AIU has charged Luvo Manyonga of South Africa for whereabouts failures, a violation of the @WorldAthletics Anti-Doping Rules. The long jumper has been provisionally suspended," the body tweeted.

In 2012, Manyonga, a world champion in 2017 and Commonwealth champion in 2018, was banned for 18 months after testing positive for recreational drug methamphetamine.

In December, he told his country's Sunday Times newspaper he was clean after a long battle with drug addiction but was not training after a public plea from his sister a week earlier to return to rehab.

Last May, Manyonga was fined for public drinking and contravening South Africa's strict lockdown restrictions.

Manyonga is the fourth athletics world champion since 2017 banned for a whereabouts infraction. He follows Kenyan middle-distance runner Elijah Manangoi, Bahraini runner Salwa Eid Naser and US sprinter Christian Coleman,

Coleman, the 100m world champion last year, has appealed his ban in an attempt to run at the Tokyo Olympics.

Naser, the 2019 women's 400m world champion, has been cleared to compete, but in November, World Athletics filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision

Later on Friday, the AIU said Kenyan Olympic 800m finalists Alfred Kipketer had been banned for two years, backdated back to November 2019, for the same offence. He can appeal the decision.

Athletes must let authorities know their intended whereabouts to allow anti-doping officials to find them.

If they fail to show or give wrong information three times in a year they can be punished.

The delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics are scheduled to start on 23 July 2021.

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