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Olympic runner claims she did not use steroids despite testing


Runner Shelby Houlihan was disbarred from the sport but she claims the steroids came from a food she ate.

Tokyo advances in final preparations for Olympics 2:13

(CNN) -

Olympic runner Shelby Houlihan said she was banned for four years after a positive test for anabolic steroids that she attributes to eating a pork burrito. Houlihan said she was devastated to learn of the suspension from the Integrity Unit. Athletics Council (AIU), an independent anti-doping body, after he tested positive for nandrolone.

Houlihan said in an Instagram post on Monday that a burrito she ate before the test contained pork organ meat, or giblets, which she said may have caused her to test positive for nandrolone.

A study funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found that traces of nandrolone can be found in such meat and warned of the possibility of a false positive.

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The ban will prevent the 28-year-old from competing in the upcoming US Olympic Tournaments and the Tokyo Olympics.

The doping accusations and investigations have led to multiple bans on athletes and even entire countries, including a two-year ban on Russia by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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The runner said she received an email from the AIU on January 14, 2021. It informed her that an anti-doping test she underwent on December 15, 2020, had tested positive for nandrolone.

"When I got that email, I had to read it about ten times and Google what it was that had tested positive," he said in the post.

"I've never heard of nandrolone."

What is Nandrolone?

Nandrolone is a synthetic steroid, analogous to testosterone, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


The NIH states that it can be used in testosterone replacement therapy to increase nitrogen retention and fat-free muscle mass.

Houlihan said that after learning of the positive test, he gathered a log of everything he ate the week before the test.

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"We concluded that the most likely explanation was a burrito purchased and consumed approximately 10 hours prior to that drug test at an authentic Mexican food truck serving pork entrails near my home in Beaverton, Oregon," he said.

Certain pigs produce the chemical naturally, and pork organ meat, or giblets, has the highest levels of nandrolone, he said in his post.

Olympic aspirations truncated

Houlihan said he learned on June 11 that his explanation of the positive test was not accepted by the Arbitral Tribunal, prompting the four-year ban.

"I feel completely devastated, lost, broken, angry, confused and betrayed by the very sport that I have loved and in which I struggled to see how good it was," said the runner in her post.

«I want to be very clear.

I have never taken any performance enhancing substances.

And that includes what I am accused of.

Houlihan said she did everything she could to prove her innocence and get back to her beloved sport, including passing a polygraph test and taking a sample of her hair.

"WADA agreed that this test showed that there was no accumulation of this substance in my body, which would have happened if I was taking it regularly," Houlihan said.

Houlihan's coach Jerry Schumacher criticized the organizations that disqualified the runner in a statement Monday, saying the AIU and WADA are treating her "unfairly" and preventing her from competing in the Olympics despite knowing about the issue. pork and nandrolone.

The AIU told CNN that it "applies the World Anti-Doping Code equally to athletes around the world."

Houlihan's case "was heard by a three-member panel at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which made its decision after hearing the evidence and arguments of the athlete's lawyers and the AIU," says a statement from the AIU.

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CNN contacted WADA and the US track team for comment.

The coach said he knows Houlihan is innocent and that "his entire career has been taken from him for something he didn't do."

As for Houlihan, she said that the dream she had had since she was 5 years old has been ripped from her.

“Since I started running at the age of 5, I have dreamed of running professionally, breaking records, winning an Olympic gold medal and being one of the best in the world.

I have always blindly believed that I was good enough to achieve those things, ”she said.

Now that she has been accused of doping, the runner has redoubled her love for the sport.

«I believe in sport and in pushing your body to the limit to see where it is.

I'm not interested in cheating, ”he said.

"I'm not doing it for the accolades, the money, or to let people know my name.

I do it because I love it.

I have a lot of fun doing it and it's always the best part of my day.

- CNN's Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.

World Anti-Doping Agency

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-06-18

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