Olympic silver medalist Luvo Manyonga gets provisional suspension

Luvo Manyonga could face up to two years suspension if found guilty, ruling him out of the Tokyo Olympics.

Luvo Manyonga
Luvo Manyonga

Olympic long jump silver medalist Luvo Manyonga has been provisionally suspended for anti-doping whereabouts failures, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday.

A Whereabouts Failure charge can be laid against an athlete for failing to submit their location ahead of time for random out-of-competition drug tests, or failing to appear at a pre-arranged time for a test three times in a 12-month period.

The South African has been issued with a notice of charge and could face up to two years suspension if found guilty. The suspension would rule him out of the Tokyo Olympics which are slated to begin on 23 July this year. Manyonga was reportedly not immediately available for comment.

‘I don’t know what is the way forward for me’

Luvo Manyonga
Luvo Manyonga

Luvo Manyonga had earlier said that he had not trained for a year amid a breakaway from his agent. He also had said that he did not know when he would begin his programme for Tokyo.

I’m not training and I don’t know the way forward because I’m doing everything on my own, trying to fight my battles,” he told South Africa’s TimesLIVE website last month. “My clothes are all over the world. I’m changing places to stay, I’m staying in (Paarl), my clothes are in PE (Port Elizabeth). I don’t know what is the way forward for me,” he added.

The 30-year old was previously admitted for recreational drug addiction. He underwent rehabilitation and did not compete between 2012 and 2014. He was handed a 18-month suspension by the sport’s world governing body in that period. He was tested positive for ‘tik’ – the local South African variant of crystal methamphetamine.

Hence his silver at Rio in 2016 was a remarkable tale of triumph over adversity. After claiming the Olympic silver, he won the gold medal in the 2017 London World Championships as well as in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

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