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Garrett Scantling, one of the best decathletes in the world, has been banned for three year due to missing drug tests.

The ban is backdated to June 27, 2022, which is the date that the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) referred to as a tampering violation and two months after his third whereabouts failure in a 12-month span.

Three whereabouts failures in a 12-month span will trigger a two-year appeallable suspension. Specifics have not been published.

The 29-year-old then provided an altered email address during an investigation into his third whereabouts failure, which brought on the tampering violation, according to USADA.

Scantling was provisionally suspended in July 2022 which meant no world championships while his case was heard. Scantling was drug tested nine times between his first whereabouts failure on Aug. 25, 2021, and the start of his provisional suspension on July 21, according to USADA. At no time is it reported that he failed a drug test.

The Jacksonville, Florida native is a four-time national champion in the decathlon, two indoors, and two outdoors. He missed the podium during the Tokyo Olympic Games by one position. His personal best is 8867 points achieved in May 2022. His best individual event may be the 110m hurdles, where he has run as fast as 13.59 seconds.

The suspension may end his competitive career, as he will miss the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 and the 2023 world Athletics Championships. In 2028, at the following Olympic Games, he will be 35 years of age. It’s doable, however, difficult.

Cheating is widespread. Where the anti-doping governance may seem harsh, cheaters and enablers can also be prolific, so much so that entire finals at global championships would be rewritten if all were caught. Case in point, the 2012 London Olympic Games 1500m final, where at least half of the competitors were later caught cheating. This left clean athletes out of the semi-finals and finals, who otherwise deserved a chance.

Systematic doping first in East Germany, then in China, and later in Russia, has changed the view of historical results. Continued small-systematic-like doping silos continue where training groups, agencies, and coaches will enable athletes to dope. Nike Oregon Project is a prime example, now folded, with coach Alberto Salazar suspended. The BALCO project, big busts in Turkey as well as Kenya being rife with dopers have all led to much stricter rules and governance.

In this case, some athletes — likely very few — who are clean are being suspended for whereabouts failures like Scantling’s.

Micro-dosing also continues to be a problem.

Doping is a scourge on the promise of fair competition. While the race to end doping ramps up, both anti-doping agencies and cheaters (science) continue to escalate the game. Currently, with a zero-tolerance policy, anti-doping’s long arm of law practice may now have the lead.