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Marathoner Lim Baoying banned for using a prohibited substance leading to 4-year suspension

The ban was a result of her consuming a quarter of one tablet of modafinil 200mg - on the morning of the event, without considering the list of prohibited in-competition substances

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Lim Baoying who clocked 3hr 16min 35sec and became Singapore’s top marathon woman has been suspended from competitions for three years and nine months by the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Athletics Integrity Unit.

The ban was a result of her consuming a quarter of one tablet of modafinil 200mg – on the morning of the event, without considering the list of prohibited in-competition substances.

According to the AAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), Lim “had no excuse” for her consumption of modafinil, a prohibited substance.

On top of the suspension, Lim’s result in the SCSM has also been disqualified, said the AIU.

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Lim said that a resident physician at the Changi Sports Medicine Centre told her that the substance would enable her to combat feeling drowsy before the race.

When the competition ended, Lim declared her substance consumption on the anti-doping form prior to the urine test which was scheduled on the same day, in accordance with race requirements for top finishers.

Upon discovering she had flouted the doping rules when checking the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of prohibited substances for in-competition participants, Lim decided to get in touch with AIU and informed the race organisers and the relevant parties of her medical consumption, and to relinquish her title as the Singapore Female Champion of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018.
The local female runner-up for the race was Rachel See, who finished with a time of 3 hours 18min 35sec.
“The athlete is an experienced athlete and a physician who specialises in sport who has served several times as a physician in Major Sport Events (including the Youth Olympic Games) over the past decade,” said the AIU.
“The athlete failed to exercise even the most elementary caution; in short, she has no excuse.”
According to anti-doping rules, the suspension length for a violation that does not involve a specified substance is four years, unless the athlete is able to demonstrate that the violation was unintentional. However, the AIU said that Lim was not able to establish this.
This was because modafinil was deemed to have been taken “in-competition” according to the definition of the anti-doping rules.
As such, Lim was unable to demonstrate that the substance was used out-of-competition in a context unrelated to sports performance, said the AIU.
“The athlete asserts that she had no intention to cheat because she ingested modafinil before the event in order to stay awake after the event,” added the AIU.
“The AIU does not consider this explanation for the athlete’s ingestion of modafinil sufficient or credible to explain why the athlete ingested one quarter of a tablet of modafinil prior to participating in the event.”
Due to Lim’s “prompt admission” of the violation, her suspension was reduced, said the AIU. The suspension kicked in from Feb 8 this year.

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