Russia’s former world champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov has escaped a four-year doping ban after it was found that he unintentionally ingested a diuretic prescribed to his three-month-old son.
He tested positive for acetazolamide, a masking agent on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances.
The Athletics Integrity Unit referred the case to a disciplinary panel, which found it to be “genuinely exceptional”.
He argued preparing the medicine left “invisible particles” in his kitchen.
The tribunal accepted 30-year-old Shubenkov’s plea of “no fault or negligence” for the positive out-of-competition sample he returned in December 2020.
“A child at this age cannot swallow, so the pills must have been prepared in a certain way,” Shubenkov wrote in the post, which included a message of thanks for the AIU.
“That resulted in tiny almost invisible particles of powder being at my kitchen that have caused a positive test.
“Luckily, it ended up nicely.”
The decision to clear him could allow Shubenkov to compete internationally as a neutral athlete, including for the rearranged Tokyo Olympics beginning on 23 July
In a statement, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) confirmed the Russian would serve no period of ineligibility.
“After a thorough investigation of the athlete’s explanation during results management process, the AIU accepted that the positive finding resulted from his unintentional ingestion of residue from medication being used to treat a family member,” the statement continued.