The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said the silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics has been suspended for 18 months for violating the rules of his whereabouts.
“The accumulation of three spot failures within a 12-month period constitutes a rule violation under the USADA Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing Protocol … and Athletics’ World Anti-Doping Rules,” USAID said in a statement on Wednesday.
Saunders’ 18-month ineligibility period began on August 15, 2022, the date her third place failed.
US competitive results from that date were also excluded.
She will miss the US Athletics Championships in July and the World Championships in Budapest in August but will be eligible to compete in the Paris Olympics next year.
The 26-year-old, who finished behind China’s Gong Lijiao in Tokyo, responded to the comment in a Twitter post, saying: “As a veteran I should have done better and take full responsibility for my actions.
“I have never failed a test on a subject and have been tested again after every missed (sic) test. I have always been an advocate for clean sport…”
Saunders was a fan favorite during the Tokyo Games as she donned her green and purple hair and a smiling “Joker” mask.
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