NC State’s Gabbi Cunningham added to U.S. Olympic team

The Charlotte native replaces Briana McNeal in the 100 meter hurdles after McNeal's appeal of a five-year ban was upheld

Gabbi Cunningham was a two-time All-American for NC State from 2015-19 (NC State athletics photo)

Former NC State sprinter Gabbi Cunningham has been added to the U.S. track team that will complete in the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

The Charlotte native will run the women’s 100-meter hurdles as a replacement for Brianna McNeal, who lost her appeal against a five-year ban for “tampering with part of a doping control process.”

“Just received the call,” Cunningham wrote in a social media post Friday. “I’m going to the Olympics.”

Cunningham, a two-time All-American who ran for the Wolfpack from 2015-19, finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon on June 20. She will join fellow North Carolina native Keni Harrison and Christina Clemons — who finished first and third at the Trials — on the American team.

McNeal finished second in the race and is the defending Olympic champion, having won the gold medal in Rio in 2016. 

Despite her ban for being found guilty of “tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control,” by the Athletics Integrity Unit —  the anti-doping arm of the international governing body for track & field — she was allowed to participate in the U.S. trials while her appeal was pending. The ban, however, was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday.