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US Olympic champion banned for doping

Gil Roberts won gold at the 2016 Rio Games and has a World Championship silver medal to his name

American Olympic gold medalist Gil Roberts has accepted a 16-month suspension after testing positive for banned substances, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Thursday.

Roberts, 33, returned a positive test for andarine and ostarine in an out-of-competition urine sample collected in May.

The two substances are categorized as ‘SARMs’ (selective androgen receptor modulators) – a class of therapeutic compounds that have similar properties to anabolic steroids.

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Roberts claimed that the substances entered his system through the use of a dietary supplement which did not list prohibited ingredients on its label.

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USADA accepted that argument after laboratory testing, and added the supplement to its ‘High Risk’ list.

It noted, however, that athletes are advised to exercise an “increased level of due diligence” when it comes to dietary supplements.

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Roberts was part of the US 4 x 400m relay team which won gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

He also has a World Championship silver medal to his name in the same event, as well as a World Indoor Championship gold medal.

Roberts has been involved in doping-related controversy before, famously escaping punishment for a violation in 2017 when he tested positive for probenecid – a diuretic and masking agent.

Roberts argued that the substance entered his body after he “passionately” kissed his girlfriend.

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After an arbitrator had ruled in Roberts’ favor, WADA appealed unsuccessfully with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a ban to be imposed.

USADA said at the time that Roberts had “met his burden of proof.”

“It must have been like lightning out of a clear blue sky for him to learn that by kissing his girlfriend this time that he was exposing himself to a prohibited substance,” the organization said.

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Roberts’ current ban has been backdated to June 3 – the date a provisional suspension was imposed.

Roberts failed to make the US team for the Tokyo Olympics last year, finishing seventh in the 400m national trials, which is the last time he is listed as competing.

December 09, 2022 at 03:46PM
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