*My daughter will come out clean, insists father
By Abiodun Adewale
The Athletics Integrity Unit says it has begun the process of challenging the decision to clear Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan of doping violations after the body charged her with three whereabout failures in July, before she was cleared by a panel in August, The PUNCH reports.
Amusan, who just won her third consecutive women’s 100m hurdles Diamond League title in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday will now have to go through a fresh legal battle at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Amusan became the second woman in the 100m hurdles history after Dawn Nelson-Harper to win a hat-trick of 100m hurdles titles when she raced to a season’s best of 12.33secs with Puerto Rico’s Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn Camacho-Quinn finishing second in 12.38secs while American Keni Harrison placed third in 12.44 secs.
Her victory came after a disappointing outing at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary where she placed sixth in the wake of her temporary suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit for missing three whereabouts tests.
“The AIU filed an appeal last Friday (September 15, 2023) with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the Disciplinary Tribunal’s decision, dated 17 August 2023, that Tobi Amusan did not commit an anti-doping rule violation for Whereabouts Failures,” AIU said in a statement on Monday.
“The AIU will make no further comment on the matter until the conclusion of the appeal,” the body added.
Amusan was first provisionally suspended by the AIU in July over three whereabouts failures but the Disciplinary Tribunal ruled in favour of the world record holder two days before the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last month.
She was however unable to defend her world title in Budapest, placing 7th in the final which was won by Jamaica’s Danielle Williams.
Amusan put her World Championships woes behind her on Sunday, storming to a season’s best of 12.32s to win her third Diamond League title in Eugene.
However, Amusan’s father Kehinde, while reacting to the appeal filed by the AIU to CAS insisted his daughter will be vindicated.
“She was cleared of any wrongdoing the last time and that will not change this time. She will come out clean from all the allegations levelled against her.
“We know the kind of daughter we have, we never suspected any wrongdoing from her as well, she’s a clean athlete.”
On Amusan’s triumph at the Diamond League in Oregon, Kehinde added that their family never doubted Tobi’s mental ability to recover well from the setback at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, where she lost her title.
“We never doubted her,” Kehinde said.
“We knew she had the ability to overcome the setback prior to the World Championship and I’m delighted that she made us proud again. And I believe she will continue in that way.”
Also, retired sprinter and Olympic bronze medalist, Deji Aliu, said Amusan proved herself once again on the biggest stage after her triumph in Oregon on Sunday.
Abuja 2003 African Games gold medallist Aliu, said, “We knew she would bounce back and win. She was defeated psychologically prior to the World Championships in Budapest, and I believe this win will only make her stronger ahead of next season.”
Meanwhile, Amusan is set to return to Nigeria in November for the second edition of the Tobi/Abiola Ijebu Sprint and Relays Meet in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
The event is billed to hold on November 3 and 4.
This edition has the support of the Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, who named Amusan Ogun State Youth Ambassador after she broke the 100m hurdles record at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon.
Unlike the inaugural edition which was limited to Ijebu-Ode, this edition has the blessing of the Ogun State Government, thus will cover all the schools across the state.