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European champion Perkovic faces suspension for failed drugs test

European women discus champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia answers journalists during a news conference in Zagreb June 27, 2011. Perkovic is facing suspension, hopefully for up to six months, after failing a doping test last month, Croatia's athletic officials said on Monday. REUTERS/Nikola Solic

ZAGREB (Reuters) - European discus champion Sandra Perkovic is waiting to find out how long she will be suspended for after she failed a drugs test last month, Croatian athletics officials said on Monday.

“Perkovic inadvertently took a food additive that contained a psycho stimulant Methylhexanamine and she failed doping tests at the Diamond League meetings in Rome and Shanghai. I suppose she will be suspended for up to six months,” president of the Croatian Athletics Federation (HAS) Luciano Susanj said.

Perkovic, 21, became the European champion last year in Barcelona.

“I’m totally opposed to doping and I have never expected that something like this could happen to me. I hope I will be able to compete at the London Olympics next year,” a sobbing Perkovic told a news conference.

According to the director of the national athletics team, Sinisa Ergotic, Perkovic was using Geranamine root extract as a food additive.

“I will not say what suspension we proposed to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as they are the ones who have the last say. But we’re thinking this deserves a suspension of up to six months as this stimulant has no effect on results of a discus thrower,” Ergotic said.

He said HAS recognized that Perkovic had no intention to take nor was aware of taking a stimulant.

In early June, Perkovic achieved a national record of 69,99 meters at a local competition in Varazdin.

Reporting by Igor Ilic, editing by Pritha Sarkar