Majlinda Kelmendi, Kosovo’s first ever Olympic gold medalist, could face a ban on competition in France after she refused an unscheduled drugs test.
Both the International Judo Federation (IJF) and Kelmendi’s coach confirmed on Monday that the 25-year-old had refused to take an out-of-competition drugs test while training in St Cyprien in France on July 16.
The IFJ said: “A control was done in June in France. The procedure is contested by the athlete and her coach and looks questionable at the level of the IJF.”
However, it added that any sanction given would apply only in French territory.
Kelmendi’s coach, Agron Kuka, insisted the test had been refused due to a perceived lack of authority by the person administering it, rather than because of any use of banned-substances.
Absolutely incredible: Kosovo's first #Olympic medal is gold!
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The incident potentially casts a shadow over Kelmendi’s gold medal victory in the women’s -52kg Judo event on Sunday, which was also Kosovo’s first Olympic medal with the country represented for the first time at the Rio Olympics.
Kelmendi previously represented Albania at the 2012 Olympics in London, prior to the IOC’s official recognition of Kosovo in 2014, exiting in the second round.