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British javelin thrower Blair hit with four-year ban

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British javelin thrower Blair hit with four-year ban
FILE PHOTO: British Javelin athlete Joanna Blair at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, UK - 14/7/13 Action Images / Steven Paston/File Photo   -   Copyright  AI Project(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Former British javelin champion Joanna Blair has been suspended from all sport for four years following a positive test for steroids in 2017, UK Anti-Doping said on Friday.

Blair tested positive for a metabolite of the steroid metandienone after an out-of-competition test while in France for the European Team Championships in June 2017, after which she was provisionally suspended.

The 32-year-old has said that she did not intentionally ingest the substance, arguing that a creatine supplement she was taking had been contaminated. However, her appeal was dismissed and the sanction upheld.

“We’ve seen numerous cases involving steroids in recent months. This case demonstrates that there are serious consequences to an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV),” UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said in a statement.

“Beyond the performance-enhancing qualities of steroids, there are significant health risks associated with their use, including kidney failure, liver damage and an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.”

The period of ineligibility will apply from the date of notification of the failed test on July 20, 2017 and will run until July 19, 2021.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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