American sprinter Deajah Stevens gets 18-month ban for missing tests

Deajah Stevens
Deajah Stevens had made it to the 2016 Rio Olympics 200 metres final. File photo: Reuters
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American sprinter Deajah Stevens, who reached the 2016 Rio Olympics 200 metres final, was banned for 18 months for missing anti-doping tests and will be ineligible for next year's Tokyo Games, the Athletics Integrity Unit said on Thursday.

The ban handed down to Stevens, who won the US 200m title a year after finishing seventh in the Olympics final, has been backdated to begin on February 17, 2020, and will expire at midnight on August 16, 2021, eight days after the Tokyo Olympics conclude.

The three missed tests came in February, August and November of 2019, according to the ruling from Stevens' disciplinary hearing.

The ruling said that on the first occasion, the doping control officer could not reach the American's specified location due to restricted access at the given address in Oregon and attempts to reach her by phone were unsuccessful.

For the early-morning August 2019 test in West Hollywood, Stevens claims her phone had run out of battery overnight and she only saw the five missed calls when she woke up. Three knocks on her door over a 22-minute span went unanswered.

On the final missed test, Stevens said she was at her residence during the 60-minute window but had changed her phone number to avoid harassment by an unknown individual who had threatened her fiance's life.

According to the doping control officer, access to the building on the final visit was restricted as Steven's name was not on the building directory, which the sprinter said she requested due to the claims of harassment.

Stevens has the right to appeal the decision.

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