Gaborone, Botswana – (African Boulevard News) – Botswana’s 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s 800 meters, Nijel Amos, has been banned for three years for doping, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit’s ruling that was published on Wednesday.
The AIU, an independent body that manages integrity issues in athletics, found Amos guilty of a doping violation after his urine sample was tested positive for the prohibited substance, terbutaline, during the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Terbutaline is a bronchodilator that helps open up the airways in the lungs, making it easier to breathe. It is a prohibited substance in sports because it can enhance athletic performance by increasing oxygen uptake and improving endurance.
Amos, who is also a two-time Commonwealth Games champion, said that he unknowingly ingested the substance through an inhaler that he used to treat his asthma.
“I believed that I was using a legal medication that did not give me an unfair advantage over my competitors,” said Amos in a statement released on his social media account.
The 27-year-old athlete has accepted the ban and will not appeal the decision, but he expressed his disappointment and apologized to his fans and the athletics community for the embarrassment caused by his actions.
“I accept the ban with humility and regret, and I take full responsibility for my mistake,” said Amos. “I apologize to everyone who supported me throughout my career, and to those who have been let down by my actions.”
The ban means that Amos will miss the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, and the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
The Athletics Federation of Botswana has expressed its disappointment at the news and urged all athletes to be vigilant about the substances they take.
“It is important for all athletes to understand that they are responsible for what they put into their bodies, and that they must always adhere to the anti-doping rules,” said the federation’s president, Marumo Morule.
The ban also raises concerns about the prevalence of doping in athletics and underscores the need for stricter measures to combat the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
As the athletics community reels from yet another doping incident, it is clear that the sport has a long way to go in restoring its integrity and preserving its core values of fair play and sportsmanship.