Doping-Knighton avoids ban ahead of US trials


Athletics - World Athletics Championship - Men's 200m Final - National Athletics Centre, Budapest, Hungary - August 26, 2023 Silver medallist Erriyon Knighton of the U.S. celebrates on the podium after the Men's 200m Final REUTERS/Alina Smutko/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) -American sprinter Erriyon Knighton will not be suspended for testing positive for a banned substance, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said on Wednesday, after an arbitrator found the result was likely caused by contaminated meat.

The finding cleared the 200 metres world silver medallist to compete at the U.S. Olympic trials starting on Friday, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said it could appeal.

"As it always does, WADA will review this case and reserves the right to take an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as appropriate," WADA's head of media relations James Fitzgerald said.

Knighton's lawyer Howard Jacobs told Reuters: "If there's an appeal we will obviously be prepared for it, as we were for this one."

One of the brightest prospects in American track and field, the 20-year-old Knighton tested positive during an out-of-competition drug test in March, but the independent arbitrator found he was not at fault and had not acted with negligence.

Knighton was registered to run the 200 metres at the trials in Eugene, Oregon. He has only competed in one race this year, at an indoor meet in February.

The case comes amid testy relations between the U.S. and global anti-doping authorities, as a doping case involving Chinese swimmers unfolds in the run-up to the Paris Olympics starting next month.

(Reporting by Kayon Raynor in Kingston, writing by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Ed Osmond)

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