South African Olympic long jump silver medallist Luvo Manyonga has been provisionally suspended for three breaches of anti-doping whereabouts failures rules in 12 months.
The 30-year-old who has battled drug addiction in addiction in the past could be banned for two years for the whereabouts failures.
A Whereabouts Failure charge can be laid against an athlete for failing to submit their location ahead of time for random out-of-competition drug tests or failing to appear at a pre-arranged time for a test three times in a 12-month period.
The delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics are scheduled to start on 23 July 2021.
Manyonga is among the favourites to win gold in Tokyo after winning the 2017 World and 2018 Commonwealth titles.
In 2012, Manyonga was banned from athletics for 18 months after testing positive for crystal meth.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) says athletes must provide “accurate and up to date” details about their whereabouts as a way to “ensure compliance to anti-doping rules”.
Under World Athletics’ anti-doping rules, any combination of three whereabouts failures within 12 months is a violation.
Manyonga was charged by the AIU on December 23, 2020. If he accepts the ruling, the AIU could issue the maximum sanction of a two-year ban.
If he decides to appeal against the punishment, the case would be heard by an independent tribunal before a final decision is made.
In May 2020, Manyonga was fined for public drinking and contravening South Africa’s strict lockdown restrictions.