Beijing 2008 Olympic 100 metres hurdles champion Dawn Harper-Nelson has been handed a three-month suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) following a positive test.
The 32-year-old, who also won silver at the London 2012 Olympics, was sanctioned as a result of urine sample given in an out-of-competition test on December 1.
Harper-Nelson tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide and its related metabolites, with the substance placed in the class of diuretics and masking agents.
The sprinter accepted the three-month sanction imposed.
“Harper-Nelson’s sample was collected by the IAAF, and referred to USADA for results management after Harper-Nelson had been notified of her test results,” a USADA statement read.
“Following an investigation into the circumstances of her case, including Harper-Nelson’s medical records, USADA has accepted Harper-Nelson’s explanation that her positive test was caused by a blood pressure medication she was prescribed by a physician to treat hypertension.
“Harper-Nelson further explained that she made efforts to determine if the medication contained prohibited substances; however, due to using partial search terms, those efforts were unsuccessful.
“Harper-Nelson’s period of ineligibility began on December 1, 2016, the date her positive sample was collected.”
Personal Statement... pic.twitter.com/goIkEf8PiP— Dawn Harper-Nelson (@DHarp100mH) February 7, 2017
USADA also confirmed she has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to the date of the positive test.
This including forfeiting any medals, points and prizes won during the period.
In a statement, Harper-Nelson stated she had taken full responsibility for the positive test, after taking a medication which contained the banned substance.
“Recently, I was rushed to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with high blood pressure,” Harper-Nelson wrote.
“As a result my physician prescribed a non-performance enhancing medication for high blood pressure that contained hydrochlorothiazide, water pill.
“I never hid my use of this required medication, but did fail to fully understand how its administration was governed by current doping protocols.
“I take full responsibility of my mistake and have fully cooperated with IAAF and USADA in the handling of the matter.
“I have learned a valuable lesson and hope my mistake will serve as a reminder to all athletes to be diligent in thoroughly checking any and all prescribed medications.”
Harper-Nelson, who is a member of Los Angeles 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Athletes' Advisory Commission, had been due to compete at the Nitro Athletics Series in Melbourne.
The American did not compete in the first meeting of the event on February 4.