An Olympic runner was banned after testing positive for a steroid. She believes it's a false positive from a pork burrito

4 months ago 31
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(CNN)Olympic runner Shelby Houlihan said she has been banned from the athletics for 4 years pursuing a affirmative trial for anabolic steroids that she attributes to eating a pork burrito.

Houlihan said she was devastated to larn of the suspension from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an autarkic assemblage that combats doping, aft she tested affirmative for nandrolone.

Houlihan said successful a station connected Instagram Monday that a burrito she ate earlier the trial contained pig organ meat, oregon offal, which she said tin pb to a affirmative trial for nandrolone. A study funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recovered hint amounts of nandrolone tin beryllium recovered successful that benignant of nutrient and warned astir the anticipation of a mendacious positive.

    The prohibition volition forestall the 28-year-old from competing successful upcoming US Olympic Trials and the Tokyo Olympic Games. Doping accusations and investigations person led to aggregate bans of athletes and adjacent full countries from competing, including a two-year prohibition connected Russia from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

      The runner said she received an email from AIU connected January 14, 2021, informing her that a cause trial she took December 15, 2020, returned affirmative for nandrolone.

      "When I got that email, I had to work it implicit astir 10 times and google what it was that I had conscionable tested affirmative for," she said successful the post. "I had ne'er adjacent heard of nandrolone."

      What is nandrolone?

      Nandrolone is simply a synthetic, anabolic steroid analog of testosterone, according to the National Institutes of Health.

      NIH says it tin beryllium utilized for testosterone replacement therapy to summation nitrogen retention and fat-free musculus mass.

      Houlihan said aft she learned of the affirmative test, she enactment unneurotic a log of everything she ate the week anterior to the test.

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      "We concluded that the astir apt mentation was a burrito purchased and consumed astir 10 hours earlier that cause trial from an authentic Mexican nutrient motortruck that serves pig offal adjacent my location successful Beaverton, Oregon," she said.

      Certain pigs nutrient the chemic naturally, with pig organ meat, oregon offal, having the highest levels of nandrolone, she said successful her post.

      Olympic aspirations dashed

      Houlihan said she learned connected June 11 that her mentation of the affirmative trial was not accepted by the Court of Arbitration, prompting the four-year ban.

      "I consciousness wholly devastated, lost, broken, angry, confused and betrayed by the precise athletics that I've loved and poured myself into conscionable to spot however bully I was," the runner said successful her post. "I privation to beryllium precise clear. I person ne'er taken immoderate show enhancing substances. And that includes that of which I americium being accused."

      Houlihan said she did everything she could to beryllium her innocence and instrumentality to her beloved sport, including passing a polygraph trial and having her hairsbreadth sampled.

      "WADA agreed that trial proved that determination was nary physique up of this substance successful my body, which determination would person been if I were taking it regularly," Houlihan said.

      Houlihan's manager Jerry Schumacher called retired the organizations that banned the runner successful a connection Monday, saying AIU and WADA are treating her "unfairly," and preventing her from competing successful the Olympics contempt knowing astir the contented with pork and nandrolone.

      AIU told CNN it "applies the World Anti-Doping Code arsenic to athletes from each implicit the world." Houlihan's lawsuit "was heard by a three-member sheet astatine the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which made its determination aft proceeding grounds and arguments from the athlete's lawyers and the AIU," a connection from AIU said.

      CNN reached retired to WADA, and USA Track and Field for comment.

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      The manager said helium knows Houlihan is guiltless and "has had her full vocation taken distant from her for thing she didn't do."

      As for Houlihan, she said the imagination she's had since she the property of 5 has been ripped away.

      "Since I started moving erstwhile I was 5 years old, I've had dreams of moving professionally, mounting records, winning an Olympic golden medal and being 1 of the champion successful the world. I person ever blindly believed that I was bully capable to execute those things," she said.

        Now that she's been accused of doping, the runner has doubled down connected her emotion of the sport.

        "I judge successful the athletics and pushing your assemblage to the bounds conscionable to spot wherever the bounds is. I'm not funny successful cheating," she said. "I don't bash this for the accolades, money, oregon for radical to cognize my name. I bash this due to the fact that I emotion it. I person truthful overmuch amusive doing it and it's ever the champion portion of my day."

        CNN's Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.

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