Higa Maggi

Published : Aug 23, 2003 00:00 IST



World No. 1-ranked long jumper Maurren Higa Maggi has been handed a preventative suspension by the IAAF while she's investigated for possibly using anabolic steroids, her coach said.

Tests have not been completed, but Maggi withdrew from the Brazilian team which competed in the Pan American Games on August 1.

The IAAF has not said whether Maggi tested positive for banned steroids, coach Nelio Moura said. But he added the long jumping star was suspended by the world track and field body while it investigates.

Fighting back tears during a press conference, Maggi said she would never intentionally use banned steroids and will fight to protect her reputation so she won't be banned from the Athens Olympics. "I want to prove I am innocent," she said.

The doping suspicion emerged after a routine test during the Brazil Trophy championship in Sao Paulo in July, according to Brazil's Olympic Committee.

Maggi might have tested positive because doctors applied a pharmaceutical cream after she received a cut during a hair removal process, Moura said.

If the investigation concludes she intentionally used banned steroids, Maggi faces a two-year ban.

Maggi won the gold medal at the Brazil Grand Prix in May, jumping 6.80 meters, and was third at this year's world indoor championships in England.

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