(Reuters) - Middle-distance runner Shelby Houlihan said the Swiss Federal Tribunal on Friday denied a request for an emergency injunction which would have allowed her to race in the U.S. Olympic trials, ending her hopes of competing at this year's Tokyo Games.
The American record holder in the 1,500 metres and 5,000m was included in the lineup for those events at the trials in Eugene, Oregon, despite receiving a four-year ban after testing positive for an anabolic steroid, prompting an outcry from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and fellow athletes.
The 28-year-old, who has denied knowingly ingesting the substance and said she was innocent of any wrongdoing, adding the positive result might have come from eating pork the night before the test, confirmed she would not compete on Friday.
"I never had any intention of competing if this injunction wasn’t granted," she wrote in a lengthy statement posted on social media. "This ruling means that my goal of making another Olympic team is over for now. I can’t begin to find the words to express how disheartening this is."
Houlihan said she would continue with her appeal in Switzerland after the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which upheld her ban, issues its full ruling in the case.
"I will forge ahead with my appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal once the Court of Arbitration for Sport issues its reasoned decision,” she said.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris)