Tokyo 2020: Former Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte faces ban after missing doping tests

Ruta Meilutyte wins gold at London 2012
Meilutyte won gold in the 100m breaststroke at London 2012 at the age of 15

Lithuanian former Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte could miss the Tokyo 2020 Games after failing to appear for three doping tests.

The 22-year-old, who won gold at London 2012 aged just 15, will likely face a ban between 12-24 months.

According to a statement on the Lithuanian Swimming Federation website Meilutyte has taken full responsibility for the missed tests.

She claims to have incorrectly filled out her whereabouts records.

Doping officials were reportedly unable to make contact with the swimmer on three separate occasions at her specified address on April 22 and August 19, 2018 as well as March 28 this year.

The swimmer has been given 12 days to provide written reasoning for the missed tests to the sport's international governing body (Fina) before disciplinary proceedings begin.

Kristina Jagminiene, director of the Lithuanian Anti-Doping Agency said it was a "shameful mistake" by the former World and European champion swimmer, who otherwise has a clean record.

In 2015 Meilutyte publicly criticised controversial rival Yulia Efimova, telling BBC Sport she no longer saw her as an "honest competitor" after the Russian's doping ban.

The pair shared one of the biggest rivalries in the sport prior to the Rio 2016 Olympics, but the Lithuanian has struggled to replicate her best form since breaking her elbow before the Games - where she finished seventh.

Since leaving the UK after the last Olympics Meilutyte has trained back in her homeland and Australia, as well as the USA where she is currently based.

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