Paris 2024: fencer Ysaora Thibus suspended following an abnormal anti-doping test result

Foil fencer Ysaora Thibus can claim a title at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but will she have the opportunity to defend her chances there? It has just been temporarily suspended by the French Fencing Federation

Paris 2024: fencer Ysaora Thibus suspended following an abnormal anti-doping test result

Foil fencer Ysaora Thibus can claim a title at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but will she have the opportunity to defend her chances there? It has just been temporarily suspended by the French Fencing Federation. The body explains in a press release published Friday February 9 that it was informed by the International Testing Agency (ITA) – mandated by the International Fencing Federation (FIE) to carry out anti-doping controls – that the fencer had “was the subject on January 14 (…) of a control which produced an abnormal analysis result”.

Consequently: “Ysaora Thibus is provisionally suspended with immediate effect as of February 8. » The person concerned “denies any intentional act of doping”, after this test carried out while she participated in the Paris World Cup stage, qualifying for the Olympic Games, where the French team took second place behind Italy, a result which ensured qualification for Les Bleues.

“Contacted by us, the shooter expressed her total incomprehension, her immense surprise and her dismay (…). It is now up to it to defend itself according to the measures it deems useful to take,” specifies the federation.

In a personal statement, the young woman “denies with the greatest firmness [her] ever having administered the slightest doping substance”. “The negative results of the dozens of checks undergone this year, like all the others, bear witness to this,” she adds. “With the help of my advice and experts we will analyze and seek to understand this incomprehensible result, he was confirmed. »

Headliner of the French team

At 32, Ysaora Thibus is one of the great chances of a medal in French fencing under the dome of the Grand Palais in Paris in just under six months for the Olympic Games. Olympic team vice-champion in Tokyo in the summer of 2021, she has collected podiums in major championships since 2012 and her first medal – team silver at the European Championships.

Winner of several World Cup events, she was crowned individual world champion in the summer of 2022 in Cairo, after world silver in 2018 in Wuxi (China) and bronze in 2017 in Leipzig (Germany). For French fencing, this is a massive blow, the athlete having been one of its headliners in the discipline for many years.

“169 days before the Olympic Games in Paris which constitute the dream of my life as a woman and an athlete, everyone will understand that this information first created an effect of astonishment in me and all those who ensure my preparation,” says Ysaora Thibus. After this first touch, I begin an assault which aims to prove my innocence today to allow me to shoot tomorrow in what will be the most beautiful tournament of my career. »