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Doping: GB sprinter banned for four years

BANNED: Nigel Levine has denied ingesting a banned substance intentionally

GREAT BRITAIN sprinter Nigel Levine has been banned from the sport for four years after he was found to have violated UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) regulations.

Levine tested positive for the anabolic agent clenbuterol, the use of which is prohibited in athletics.

Nicole Sapstead, UK Anti-Doping chief executive, said: “All athletes must adhere to the principle of strict liability, and are solely responsible for any substances found in their system.

“Mr Levine is an elite athlete, who has competed at the Olympic Games, European and World Championships, and has received significant anti-doping education throughout his career.

“It is up to role models such as Mr Levine to uphold the highest standards when it comes to anti-doping, ensuring they check all supplements thoroughly and are 100 per cent certain they know that what they are consuming is not prohibited.”

Levine failed a drugs test in December 2017 as a result of the presence of clenbuterol in his system.

Levine argued that he did not ingest the drug intentionally, a defence he used his actions around the time of testing to support.

Although not part of the registered testing pool at the time Levine opened the door to testers by giving the sample in the belief that he had nothing to hide.

The UKAD did not deem this to demonstrate a lack of intention.

Clenbuterol is banned by the World Anti-Doping agency because it is classed as a performance-enhancing drug that can be used by athletes to increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat.

Twenty-nine-year-old Levine, the winner of both European and World Championship medals, has competed at the highest level of the sport. In 2012, he represented Team GB at the Olympic Games.

Levine is yet to publicly comment on the decision.

Earlier this year he said he shared that he was training and said that he had to maintain his fitness.

In April, he tweeted: “What a rough couple of years, so grateful to have my health and being surrounded by great people. These two years has filtered out the negative people in my life and showed me true real friends. I got one life to live and I'm going to live it no matter the circumstances.”

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