Why Did British Sprinter Nigel Levine Fail a Drugs Test?

British sprinter Nigel Levine failed a drugs test after allegedly testing positive for the banned asthma drug clenbuterol, according to reports.

Levine, the 28-year-old European indoor gold medallist and three-time world medallist, is waiting for the rest of his B sample after claims he failed a drugs test, according to the Daily Mail.

Clenbuterol, classified as an anabolic agent by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), is an asthma drug but is prohibited for athletes both in and out of action. It is used to increase lean muscle mass and reduce body mass.

Clenbuterol, WADA says, is a non-threshold non-specified substance, which means that any amount of the substance found in an athlete's urine is a positive test.

Nigel Levine
British sprinter Nigel Levine at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 19, 2016. Levine allegedly failed a drugs test. FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty

Levine, who is no longer coached by Olympic sprint legend Linford Christie, was involved in a serious motorcycle incident in Spain at the beginning of the year with fellow sprinter James Ellington. Levine was left with a broken pelvis and missed the entire 2017 track season.

At the time, he said: "I've got to deal with it now. I'm still smiling and getting on with life. I'm just happy just to be alive and mobile, still got all my limbs and have a great team."

Levine has now returned to training at the track.

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador was banned for two years by WADA after testing positive for the substance after the Tour de France in 2010. He claimed it was caused by a contaminated food supplement but was stripped of his Tour title and the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

Levine is yet to comment.