Raven Saunders, a silver medalist shot putter on the Tokyo Olympics who raised an “X” above her head in protest after receiving her award, was suspended for 18 months for failing to indicate up for doping exams.
Saunders had dedicated three “whereabouts failures” inside a 12-month interval ending on Aug. 15, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency introduced Wednesday. Saunders will miss this 12 months’s world championships however would nonetheless be eligible for the Paris Olympics subsequent 12 months.
The 26-year-old joined a rising listing of high-profile athletes who confronted self-discipline for lacking exams, together with world-champion sprinters Christian Coleman and Salwa Eid Naser, in accordance with The Associated Press. A collection of missed exams may result in bans however are usually not thought of proof that an athlete was utilizing a prohibited substance.
Saunders was fourth within the U.S. nationals competitors final 12 months and didn’t qualify for worlds. She then introduced she would take the remainder of 2022 off – which got here a few month earlier than her final missed take a look at. The different two have been in January and May.
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During the picture op at her medals ceremony on the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Saunders stepped off the rostrum, lifted her arms above her head and shaped an “X’ together with her wrists.
“It’s the intersection of the place all people who find themselves oppressed meet,” she stated when requested what her protest meant.
Saunders, who’s overtly homosexual, has usually questioned if the Olympics may stay as much as the mission of range.
“To be me. To not apologize,” she stated in a wide-ranging dialog after her second-place end. “To present youthful folks that irrespective of what number of containers they fight to fit your needs in, you may be you, and you may settle for it. People tried to inform me to not do tattoos and piercings and all that. But take a look at me now, and I’m poppin’.”
Saunders acquired assist from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) after the protest. The International Olympic Committee had relaxed a few of its guidelines relating to protests and political gestures on the Olympics however nonetheless barred demonstrations throughout medal ceremonies. The USOPC stated it will not sanction athletes who demonstrated on the rostrum.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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