Botswana’s 2011 World 400m champion Amantle Montsho was banned two years after she tested positive for a banned stimulant at the Commonwealth Games in July, according to reports.
She plans to appeal, according to The Associated Press. It’s unclear if the backdated two-year ban will keep her from being able to compete in the Rio Olympics in August 2016.
Montsho, 31, was fourth in the 400m at the London 2012 Olympics and won silver at the 2013 World Championships. She was a top rival to Americans Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix.
In 2011, Felix ran a personal best in the World Championships 400m final and took silver, .03 behind Montsho, whose winning time was a national record. Felix then abandoned the 400m and ran the 100m and 200m at the London Olympics, winning the 200m. Felix has said she is more likely to add the 400m than the 100m to her favored 200m in this Olympic cycle.
If Montsho is out, the top threats to Richards-Ross’ bid for a repeat Olympic 400m gold are Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2013 World champion, American Francena McCorory and perhaps Felix.