American center distance runner Shelby Houlihan has been banned from athletics for 4 years after testing constructive for a prohibited substance – which she blamed on a burrito.
The 28-year-old says she was instructed in January the anabolic steroid nandrolone had been present in a doping pattern.
Olympian Houlihan stated it could have come from consuming a pork burrito, which she stated might result in a false constructive for nandrolone, the night time earlier than her check.
She has denied ever doping.
The Athletics Integrity Unit confirmed she was handed the four-year ban by the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport on Friday, backdated to 14 January.
“I really feel fully devastated, misplaced, damaged, offended, confused and betrayed by the very sport that I’ve cherished and poured myself into,” Houlihan stated in a statement on social media.
“I wish to be very clear. I’ve by no means taken any efficiency enhancing substances.”
Houlihan, the US report holder within the 1500m and 5,000m, stated she had “by no means even heard” of nandrolone, which may help to extend muscle mass.
“I’ve since discovered that it has lengthy been understood by Wada (World Anti-Doping Company) that consuming pork can result in a false constructive for nandrolone, since sure varieties of pigs produce it naturally in excessive quantities. Pig organ meat (offal) has the very best ranges of nandrolone,” she stated.
“Within the following 5 days after being notified, I put collectively a meals log of every thing that I consumed the week of that December fifteenth check.
“We concluded that the almost definitely clarification was a burrito bought and consumed roughly 10 hours earlier than that drug check from an genuine Mexican meals truck that serves pig offal close to my home in Beaverton, Oregon.
“I notified the AIU that I believed this was the supply.”
She added: “I did every thing I might to show my innocence. I handed a polygraph check. I had my hair sampled by one of many world’s foremost toxicologists.
“Wada agreed that check proved that there was no construct up of this substance in my physique, which there would have been if I had been taking it recurrently.”
The four-year ban will see Houlihan, who competed on the Rio Olympics in 2016, miss each the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Video games.