Silver medalist Mohamed Katir of Team Spain. GETTY IMAGES

Spanish athlete Mohamed Katir, the reigning world 5000m runner-up, announced in an official statement on Wednesday that he had been "provisionally suspended" by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for "a violation resulting from three whereabouts failures in the last twelve months". 

"It is important to note that this is not a case of violating anti-doping rules for the use of prohibited substances or methods, nor is it a case of evading out-of-competition doping controls. It is a simple case arising from the completion of the location data in the ADAMS platform. This may have resulted in a whereabouts failure," Katir said in his release. 

Katir was supposed to be the main attraction at Wednesday's athletics meeting in Valencia, where he was hoping to break the European 5000m short-track record. He was also targeting the 2000m world record in Lievin, France, on Saturday, having broken the Spanish 1500m record in L'Eure a week earlier. The news comes hours after he announced that he was withdrawing from the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow and the Spanish Championships in Ourense to concentrate on the outdoor season, with the Paris Olympics as his priority. 

For the third year in a row, Katir has decided not to compete in a major international indoor championship to concentrate all his efforts on the outdoor season. This year's schedule includes the European Championships in Rome in June, the same month as the Spanish Championships, followed by the Paris Olympics.

Official statement from Spain's Mohamed Katir, 5000m World runner-up
Official statement from Spain's Mohamed Katir, 5000m World runner-up

"As I do not agree with the decision taken by the AIU, I will appeal to the competent authorities in order to be able to compete during the process," said Katir. 

The Spanish athlete stated: "I believe that there is no violation as a result of three whereabouts failures in the last twelve months. In some of the whereabouts failures that were reported by the AIU, I was available at the place, on the date and at the time that I had provided. Over the past months and years, I have undergone a large number of out-of-competition doping tests, both urine and blood samples, without any problems being raised on my part."  

He continued: "I will defend myself before the competent authorities, as it should be. I ask that my right to the presumption of innocence be respected until the relevant proceedings have taken place," he concluded in his statement to the media.

The Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) has issued a statement against doping in sport and announced that it had suspended Mo Katir's licence after World Athletics opened the file. RFEA president Raúl Chapado will also hold a press conference on the matter on Thursday.