US decathlon champ out for Paris after missed doping tests

U.S. decathlon champion Garrett Scantling will miss the Paris Olympics due to a ban imposed after he falsified an email in trying to cover up a missed doping test.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Friday that the 29-year-old Scantling, who won national championships earlier this year, had accepted a three-year ban retroactive to June 27. It means he will miss next year’s world championships and the Summer Games in 2024.

USADA said it had tested Scantling nine times between his first and third so-called whereabouts failures, but that the three missed tests in the span of less than 12 months constitutes a violation. During the investigation into his third whereabouts failure, on April 9, USADA said Scantling provided an altered email, which constitutes a tampering violation.

Scantling had a four-year ban reduced by one year for admitting the violation and accepting the penalty.

Under global antidoping rules, athletes are responsible for filling out logs to let testing authorities know where they’ll be, so they can be found for no-notice, out-of-competition testing. Incomplete whereabouts logs often make testers unable to find certain athletes. The third time an athlete cannot be located over a 12-month period can result in a penalty.

“The rules keeping sport fair and clean can be inconvenient and burdensome, but athletes fulfilling their obligations under the rules is critical to protect the integrity of competition for all,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said. “Even when a rule violation, like in this case, does not involve the use of prohibited drugs, it is paramount that truthful, open, and complete cooperation happens with organizations … investigating any potential rule violations.”

Scantling, who previously tried out for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars, finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

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