Cyclist Armitstead wins appeal against doping violations

LONDON (AP) British cyclist Lizzie Armitstead won an appeal against an anti-doping violation, clearing the world road race champion to compete at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Armitstead missed three doping tests in a 12-month period, triggering a charge by U.K. Anti-Doping, a provisional suspension and the possibility of a two-year ban.

She appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and a statement released on Armitstead's behalf on Monday said the first missed test - from August 2015 - was declared void by CAS because UKAD's doping control officer had failed to follow procedure.

On Tuesday, UKAD confirmed the ruling by CAS.

''We respect the outcome of the CAS hearing,'' said UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead, who added that the body was awaiting the written decision on why the violation was not upheld.

Armitstead said she has ''always been and will always be a clean athlete and have been vocal in my anti-doping stance throughout my career.''

''I am pleased that CAS has accepted my position, having provided detailed information demonstrating the situation around my strikes,'' she said in her statement.

The 27-year-old Armitstead won a silver medal in the road race at the London Games in 2012 and is one of the favorites in Rio. She won gold at the road world championships in the United States in September.

Armitstead's first missed test came at a World Cup event in Sweden. The second was an administrative failure on Oct. 5 and the third was a missed test on June 9 following ''an emergency change of plans due to a serious illness within her family.''

She was charged by UKAD with three whereabouts failures on July 11.

Sapstead said Armitstead ''chose not to challenge the first and second Whereabouts Failures at the time they were asserted against her.''

''At the CAS hearing, Ms. Armitstead raised a defense in relation to the first Whereabouts Failure, which was accepted by the Panel,'' Sapstead said.

Armitstead did not dispute the last two faults at CAS.

UKAD has a policy of not publicly disclosing provisional suspensions, or details of cases, until an anti-doping rule violation has deemed to have been committed.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.