Top French athlete blames stepfather for injecting EPO

Top French athlete blames stepfather for injecting EPO.

Paris, (Asian independent) In a bizarre incident, French steeplechaser Ophelie Claude-Boxberger has received a backdated two-year suspension for Anti-Doping Rules Violation (ADRV) involving erythropoietin, which she says was injected by her stepfather and former coach while she was under the influence of alcohol.

The 32-year-old Claude-Boxberger, a middle-distance runner, is her country’s 1500m indoors and 3000m steeplechase outdoors champion. She tested positive for the banned substance ahead of the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

On Friday, Claude-Boxberger was given a backdated two-year ban, after France’s anti-doping body (AFLD) reportedly accepted her plea that her stepfather and former coach, Alain Flaccus, injected the substance without her knowledge.

The winner of two French national indoor and outdoor titles, in 2014 and 2015 respectively, will not be able to compete in the Tokyo Olympics as her ban will end on November 5, 2021.

A post on her verified Instagram account @ophelie_boxberger alleged that the banned drug was injected while she was sleeping off the effects of alcohol and anti-anxiety medication.

The coach too will face charges of poisoning following Claude-Boxberger’s complaint.

“Taking into account the various elements that I had communicated during the hearing and in particular the unhealthy and deleterious character that Mr. Flaccus had towards me…I hoped for an absence of sanction,” Claude-Boxberger wrote on the social media site.