Facebook Twitter

U.S. sprinter accused of doping

SHARE U.S. sprinter accused of doping

U.S. sprinter Kelli White committed a doping offense at the World Championships and should be stripped of her two gold medals, track and field's governing body ruled Tuesday.

The International Association of Athletics Federations sent White's case to U.S. track officials for disciplinary action.

A final ruling could take months.

White should be disqualified and stripped of the medals she won in the 100 and 200 meters last month in France, IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai said. A final ruling could take months.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency must schedule a hearing with White. If it decides not to disqualify White and remove the medals, the IAAF would take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

White, the first American woman to sweep the two sprints at the worlds, tested positive for modafinil after winning the 100 on Aug. 24. She passed a drug test after winning the 200 four days later.

The IAAF gave White until Tuesday to produce medical documents explaining her use of the drug. She said her personal doctor prescribed the medication for the sleep disorder narcolepsy.

"The explanation has been studied and turned down," Gyulai told The Associated Press. "Our experts have determined the stimulant is performance-enhancing."

Modafinil is not on the sport's list of banned drugs, but the IAAF says it falls under the category of "related substances."

White denied taking the medication to enhance performance and said she did not know it contained a banned substance. However, she did not declare modafinil on her doping control form as required, or apply for a medical exemption to use the product.

White has vowed to fight to keep her medals.

The IAAF ruled Sept. 4 that modafinil was a minor stimulant, similar to ephedrine, and carries a penalty of a public warning and disqualification. The decision allowed White to continue competing.

Had modafinil — sold in the United States under the brand name Provigil — been classified as a stronger stimulant, White also would have faced a two-year ban and been ineligible for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Although White passed a drug test after the 200, the IAAF considers one positive test enough for disqualification from the entire championships.

Under track and field rules, athletes are considered guilty of a doping violation if banned substances are found in their bodies, regardless of the circumstances.