Ukraine's double European 800 metres champion Nataliya Krol has received a 20-month sanction from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), ruling her out of the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year.
Krol, née Pryshchepa, was suspended in March after testing positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.
Krol provided the sample in an out-of-competition test on January 16.
Hydrochlorothiazide is considered a specified substance under World Anti-Doping Agency rules and is listed under the category of diuretics and masking agents.
The substance is considered "more likely to have been consumed for a purpose other than enhancement of sport performance".
She told the AIU that on January 11, while getting a manicure in Ukraine, she experienced a severe headache, blurred vision, heaviness in the back of the head and tinnitus.
Krol said she visited a nearby pharmacy, where the pharmacist took her blood pressure and confirmed that she was experiencing hypertension.
"The athlete then asked for a fast-acting hypertension medication and the pharmacist suggested 'Captopres-Darnitsa' confirming that the Russian analog of this medication was Captopril," the AIU said.
"The athlete claimed to have checked Captopril immediately on the RUSADA website and confirmed that it was not a prohibited medication.
"Having done so, she states that she took one tablet of Captopres-Darnitsa the same day without checking further with a doctor or personally checking the product label or packaging of the medication before using it."
The AIU accepted that Krol’s violation had not been intentional, meaning the Ukrainian avoided a maximum four-year sanction.
The AIU noted that while the manager of the pharmacy that provided the medication confirmed Krol’s symptoms and the consultation, she did not "act on the advice or prescription of a qualified medical doctor in ingesting the product".
Krol’s use of a full tablet of Captopres-Darnitsa rather than the initial recommended half-tablet dose on the leaflet was highlighted, as well as admitting that she did not check the ingredients on the product label against the prohibited list.
The AIU said this meant Krol was could not establish that she bears no fault or negligence for the positive test, with the athlete considered to have a considerable degree of fault.
A considerable degree of fault typically results in sanctions of 16 to 24 months.
Krol’s state of distress was considered as a subjective factor in the case, which led to the AIU handing the Ukrainian a 20-month sanction.
Her period of ineligibility was backdated to January 16 and will run until September 15 in 2021, ruling her out of competing at a second Olympics.
She was a member of Ukraine’s team at Rio 2016, where she advanced to the semi-finals of the women’s 800m.
Krol failed to advance to the final after placing fourth in her semi-final.
Krol claimed the gold medal in the women’s 800m at the 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam.
She won the event in 1min 59.70sec, with France’s Renelle Lamote and Sweden’s Lovisa Lindh completing the podium in 2:00.19 and 2:00.37.
Krol retained the title two years later in Berlin, where she triumphed in 2:00.38.
Lamote again finished as the silver medallist by finishing in 2:00.62, while Ukraine’s Olha Lyakhova was third in 2:00.79.