Team GB medal hopeful Oliver Dustin has confirmed he is not under investigation and is clear to compete at the Tokyo Olympics following claims that traces of cocaine had been found in one of his drug samples.
Reports emerged on Wednesday that 800 metres runner Dustin, 20, was facing a potential ban after cocaine was found during an in-competition test in France.
However, it is understood Dustin’s sample was cross-contaminated with another sample and the French authorities have dropped the case.
“I have never taken cocaine, I have not broken any rules, I am not under investigation, and I am not facing a ban,” said Dustin.
“I will be flying to Tokyo as planned and will be competing at the Olympic Games as also planned.
“It is regrettable that The Times considered it acceptable to publish such a damaging article on the basis of unnamed ‘sources’ and without considering the potential impact on me, my reputation or my preparations for the Olympics Games.
“I will be asking my lawyers to contact The Times about its article. For now my focus is on the Olympic Games.”
Dustin burst onto the global stage last month when he broke Sebastian Coe’s British under-23 record in Nice, France, with a world-leading time of 1min 43.82sec. He remains the only British men’s 800m athlete in the world’s top 10.
Following that breakthrough run, Dustin was then pipped to the British title by the slimmest of margins in a sprint finish with Elliot Giles later in June and has not competed since.
UK Athletics declined to comment, but the case had threatened to prove another headache for the governing body, which has still not determined whether 5,000m runner Andrew Butchart can run in Tokyo or will be stripped of his Team GB spot.
Butchart is due to fly to Japan this week, but is under investigation after giving an interview in which he described faking a negative Covid test to return to Britain – a claim he later retracted.
“It’s not been finalised yet,” said Butchart, when asked about the investigation on Tuesday. “I can’t talk about it yet but I’m hopeful. Obviously I have regrets, but I can’t talk about it yet until it’s all finished.”