Another Black woman will not be eligible to compete in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Brianna McNeal, a 2016 Olympic champion who won the 100m hurdles, unfortunately will not be competing in the next Olympics, or the one after. McNeal’s appeal of her five-year ban from the athletic event was denied, NBC Sports reported. She received a five-year ban in June after being accused of tampering with the doping process after she missed a drug test in January 2020 and was suspended that same month. While appealing the ban, she was allowed to compete in the Olympic trials last month. If her appeal would have been successful, she would have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
According to The New York Times, McNeal missed the drug test because she was recovering from an abortion. It wasn’t missing the drug test that led to the ban, though. When McNeal voluntarily provided documentation about her abortion, she mistakenly changed the date of her procedure by 24 hours, leading to her being accused of tampering.
In a lengthy Instagram post, McNeal expressed feeling invalidated throughout the appeal process by the fully male board over the case.
“I sat through two hearing held April 2021 and July 2021, and listened to White European men tell me how my experience doesn’t match with their perspective. They criticized me, and overly judged my decision making, completely ignored the fact that I was under physical and mental trauma after undergoing an abortion, and that I was not in the right mental capacity when making certain decisions. They never expressed sympathy with my situation. At my second hearing they even bought in a clinical psychiatrist to undermine my mental health. I watched them try [to] discredit my doctor we used to testify about abortion stigma. I couldn’t stop thinking to myself “how could these men tell me what type of experience I should have had; how can these men who would never in a million years be in my shoes tell me anything I should be going through?” So instead of being met with some sort of compassion and understanding, I was being interrogated and stigmatized.”
She added that even though her ban has nothing to do with substance abuse, she is being treated like “one of the worst dopers out there.”
This disappointing news comes after Sha’Carri Richardson was disqualified from the Tokyo Olympics for testing positive for marijuana.