Monday, April 22, 2019 | ePaper
French runner Calvin to miss Paris marathon after ban for skipping test
European silver medallist Clemence Calvin will miss Sunday's Paris marathon after being hit with a temporary ban for evading an anti-doping test last month in Morocco, which she denies.
"March 27 was anything but a doping test. It was an attack, a total misunderstanding," she said at a tearful press conference.
"Three people came running behind me, one grabbed me by the arm and they said 'French police, where is Samir Dahmani (her partner and coach)?'," she added.
Calvin, 28, claimed one of the trio then hit her on her arm causing her son, walking alongside her, to fall to the ground.
An argument then broke out as Dahmani caught up with his wife and child on the street and the officials failed to show proof of identification.
The runner then reported the incident to Moroccan police and added she hadn't tried to escape.
Calvin's lawyer Arnaud Pericard said the runner had been temporarily suspended by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) for two violations of their rules.
The first involved revealing her whereabouts after 8:00pm on March 27 and the second was for evading a doping test the same day.
The AFLD's general secretary Mathieu Teoran described allegations as "exceptionally serious which were without any basis".
"An AFLD official would never use force," he continued, adding that the AFLD "intended to follow everything that happened next, including the legal actions, that these allegations require."
Dahmani was also hit with a temporary ban by the AFLD for obstructing an anti-doping test, according to Pericard.
Calvin, who ran a best of 2hr 26min 28sec when finishing second in the European championships in Berlin last year, had hoped to compete in the Paris marathon in a bid to bag a qualifying time for next year's Tokyo Olympics.
"If I could run the Paris marathon I would, because I'm proud and strong," an emotional Calvin said, with her lawyer saying they were considering appealing to the Conseil d'Etat, France's principal judiciary body.
"I have no doubt about myself. I am someone who is honourable," Calvin added.