Olympic runner Taplin banned four years for evading test

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (AP) — Olympic runner Bralon Taplin lost his appeal against a four-year ban for dodging a doping test and will miss next year’s Tokyo Games and the next two track world championships.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Tuesday it found Taplin’s explanation “to be implausible” that he was never approached or chaperoned to give a sample after winning an April 2019 race in Grenada.

The CAS judge “was comfortably satisfied that the athlete was guilty of the offence of evading sample collection,” the court said in a statement.

The 28-year-old Taplin, a former NCAA relay champion for Texas A&M who competes for Grenada, has been banned until September 24, 2023. Taplin finished seventh in the 400 final at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and he is the eighth fastest man on the all-time list in the indoor 400.

CAS upheld a ruling by the Caribbean anti-doping organisation. It found Taplin was told by a chaperone during track-side media interviews in Grenada that he was needed to give a sample.

The Florida-born athlete’s defence was “he had not been properly notified that he had been selected for the doping control test,” the court said.

The CAS statement said Taplin “subsequently left the stadium (and) on the following day, he took an early flight home and left the country”.