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‘I just want to compete’ - Carina Horn vows to fight in doping case

Carina Horn, who was provisionally suspended last year for alleged use of a banned substance, believes her case is being treated differently than other cases.

South Africa's Carina Horn competes in the Women's 100m Semifinal during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 13, 2016. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The future of South African sprinter and national record holder Carina Horn's attempt to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics looks poor due to her doping case being delayed since September 2019.

On Friday, Horn, who was provisionally suspended last year for alleged use of a banned substance, said her case was being treated differently than other cases.

In September, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)’s athletics integrity unit (AIU) - now called World Athletics - confirmed the provisional suspension of Horn. According to the unit, there was the presence of prohibited substances, Ibutamoren and LGD-4033, in her system.

The 30-year-old Durban-born athlete had since vowed to clear her name through legal channels but with her case being dealt with numerous delays, she revealed there's more to it than meets the eye. The 17-day event is due to start on 24 July.

Horn exclusively spoke to EWN Sport, saying she wanted to be included in the team to fly to Japan by Athletics South Africa (ASA) hoping her name would be cleared in time for the athletics showpiece.

"My lawyers are from the United States of America - the first things they wanted me to do was to send all the supplements that I took for testing. So I couldn't send it because they don't allow to send it without a slip - off which I don't keep," said Horn.

"After a while, the AIU told me it will be okay and everything. The results came and they told me they did find whatever they were looking for in my samples and that was in November last year. Strange enough, after a few weeks again, they told me we have to re-test but in Lausanne, Switzerland. They took almost two months to take my supplements from Bloemfontein to Lausanne. So my supplements arrived in Lausanne in the middle of January this year and they have still not finished with the testing."

Ibutamoren has muscle-building properties and is available over the counter and used by those wishing to increase their growth hormone levels.

LGD-4033, which is prohibited under class S1.2 Other Anabolic Agents on the WADA prohibited list, is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM).

According to usada.org, it is currently being investigated as a pharmaceutical treatment for muscle wasting and weakness associated with ageing. It has also not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use in humans.

Horn said she got contacted by world athletes, telling her that something was not right with her case. She said she tried to contact ASA for help in trying to clear her name, especially with everything that was happening in her case but she did not succeed in getting hold of them.

"There are people from all over the world - even a Jamaican sprinter who's an Olympic medalist - even they told me that my case is not right. They are the world's best and they see that something is wrong" said Horn.

"I have no experience in cases like this so I didn't know what to do. They [ASA] don't want to speak to me - they don't want to reply to me, even the news broke and no one from ASA has contacted me to date."

She said she wanted this to end because it had cost her a lot of money.

"I want them to finalise everything - and do something about it because no one is doing anything," she said.

"I just want to compete, people want to put you down as soon as you do something good or you do well. So not even your federation is eager to help and now I have to do everything by myself. I will do everything and pay everything just to get the testing done and clear my name. It cost me over R100,000 just to do testing and the lab is provoking me so that I can lose the case and it's not fair."

EWN Sport contacted ASA President Aleck Skhosana who said the federation was aware of developments regarding Horn's matter but he couldn't comment further.