The international disciplinary panel gave U.S. hurdler Brianna McNeal a five-year ban for an anti-doping violation on Friday. McNeal, 29, is the defending Olympic 100-meter hurdles gold medalist -- an event she won at the 2016 Games in Rio.
According to the ruling from the Athletics Integrity Unit, McNeal has been accused of "tampering within the results management process," according to USA Today. McNeal is already appealing the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which "will make a final determination on the matter prior to the Tokyo Olympics, which begin July 2," USA Today reported.
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If the ban stands, McNeal will not be able to compete in the Tokyo Olympics or the following Games -- the 2024 Olympics in Paris. She is still allowed to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials that take place this month, however.
This is not the first potential ban of McNeal's career, as she was banned for 12 months in 2017 on a whereabouts violation.
In this current situation, McNeal was "provisionally" suspended in January, according to USA Today. Her sports agent denied all of the charges at the time, writing that McNeal, "has not tested positive for any substance banned in the sport of track and field" and that the athlete "fully expects to be exonerated and continue her championship career."
McNeal echoed those thoughts, posting on Instagram in February that, "Once all of this blows over I will provide more details of what's actually going on. The system is pretty messed up if you ask me but that's another topic for another day."