US Olympic swimmer Brinegar banned for four years

American Olympic swimmer Michael Brinegar has been handed a four-year ban for blood doping.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) said Brinegar, 24, had irregularities between July to September 2022 found in his Athlete Biological Passport.

It said the highly "abnormal blood values" were "caused by blood doping".

An independent arbitrator had cleared Brinegar of the violation but Usada appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has issued the ban.

It means Brinegar, who swam 800m and 1500m events at the Tokyo Olympics, is ruled out of Sunday's final trial for the Paris 2024 US team.

Brinegar, who is the son of former US Olympian Jennifer Hooker Brinegar, denies any wrongdoing.

"As an Olympian and the son of an Olympic swimmer whose US women’s team faced an East German team that was systematically doping, cheating is a betrayal of everything I have been taught and stand for," Brinegar posted on Instagram.

"I am deeply disappointed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling and Usada’s accusations that are utterly unfounded."

The decision comes after Usada criticised the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) in how it dealt with the case of 23 Chinese swimmers who tested positive for a banned drug but were allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Chinese anti-doping chiefs found contamination was the reason for the failed tests, which Wada said it was "not in a position to disprove".