AIU suspends Botswana’s Olympic medalist Nijel Amos for doping

Nijel Amos, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s 800 metres, has been suspended for three years for doping, the Athletics Integrity Unit said in a decision released Wednesday. The Botswana driver tested positive for the banned substance GW1516 last year before the track world championships and was relieved of his standard four-year ban because he admitted to the allegations.

The ban excludes Amos from the Paris Olympics next year. Amos equalized the third fastest time in 800 history at the age of 18 when he won the silver medal behind Kenya’s David Rudisha world record at the 2012 London Olympics, becoming Botswana’s first Olympic medalist.

His silver medal was not affected by the anti-doping decision Amos 29 is a three-time Olympic athlete who has won titles at the African Championships and the Commonwealth Games. His time of 1 minute 41.73 seconds from the 2012 Olympics remains the junior world record.

The AIU decision said Amos initially ordered tests on a dietary supplement he was taking before testing positive. The IAU said no trace of GW1516 was found in the bottle he used or in another unopened bottle of the same supplement, adding that Amos then signed a form accepting the doping allegations.

GW1516 was developed to help build stamina and burn fat, but was found to be carcinogenic in rodent tests. Anti-doping organizations have warned athletes against using it for safety reasons.

It has been detected in doping cases in various sports and also resulted in another 2012 Olympic medalist, Russian runner Elena Lashmanova, being banned from competition.

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