American sprinter Randolph Ross has been suspended for three years for tampering with emails and for three Whereabouts Failures in a 12-month period. Missing three doping tests in 12 months is equal to a positive doping test.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on June 27, 2022, notified Ross of a potential whereabouts failure that occurred on June 18, 2022. This was the athlete’s third whereabouts failure in the twelve-month period beginning on April 14, 2022. At the time, the AIU invited the Raleigh, North Carolina native to provide his explanation by no later than July 1, 2022.
According to the AIU, Ross provided his explanation on June 18, 2022, with supporting documents, including a copy of a System Generated E-mail allegedly confirming an update made to his whereabouts information for the period. The AIU conducted a review of Ross’s explanation and investigated the supporting documents that he provided. One was the authenticity of the System Generated E-mail. The AIU concluded that the System Generated E-mail was likely to have been altered or manipulated by Ross in an attempt to avoid responsibility for a whereabouts failure on the eve of the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
The AIU has banned Randolph Ross (USA) for 3 years, from 1 July 2022, for Whereabouts Failures and Tampering with any part of Doping Control by an Athlete. DQ results since 18 June 2022.— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) December 13, 2022
Details here: https://t.co/ugAjjTfGln pic.twitter.com/XjiXVLBz0K
As it turns out, on July 14, Ross attended an interview with AIU representatives and immediately admitted that he had altered the System Generated E-mail during the Results Management process for the third potential whereabouts failure. This constituted a tampering violation under Rule 2.5 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (“ADR”).
On July 16, the AIU formally notified Ross of the Anti-Doping Rule Violation and imposed a provisional suspension. On Nov. 28, Ross admitted to the ADRVs.
Ross was subsequently suspended for three years, however, the start date was July 1, due to his immediate response in admitting to the doctored emails and failures.
The 21-year-old is a two-time NCAA for the North Carolina Aggies and Tokyo Olympic champion in the 4 x 400m relay event.