5 December 2017
USADA announced today that Nana Owusu, of London, England, an athlete who trained and competed in the sport of track and field in the United States, has accepted a one-year sanction for an anti-doping rule violation.
Owusu, 26, was sanctioned for his use and possession of a dietary supplement containing ostarine for approximately three weeks in early fall 2015, while training in the United States. Ostarine is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Association of Athletics Federations Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
During USADA’s investigation, which was conducted in coordination with U.K. Anti-Doping, Owusu immediately admitted to ordering and using a dietary supplement that listed ostarine as an ingredient, based on the recommendation and assurances of his coach, Kenta Bell of the Thinking Feet Track Club. Due to the circumstances that led Owusu to purchase the dietary supplement containing ostarine, his lack of familiarity with anti-doping rules, and his search for the supplement name (as opposed to the ingredients) on the Prohibited List, Owusu was determined to have a diminished degree of fault. These factors combined with his cooperation with USADA since the start of its investigation, qualified Owusu for a reduced sanction under the Code.
Owusu’s one-year period of ineligibility, which is the minimum period of ineligibility for a non-Specified Substance, began on January 8, 2017, the date on which he acknowledged his use and possession of ostarine. In addition, Owusu has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 25, 2015, the date he ordered the dietary supplement containing ostarine, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
Ostarine <https://www.usada.org/substance-profile-ostarine/>, also known as MK-2866 and Enobosarm, is a non-FDA approved selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is illegally sold in the United States and worldwide as a performance-enhancing substance. Ostarine is not currently available as a prescription medication in any country, and its unauthorized use may carry serious side effects. Nonetheless, ostarine has been found as a declared and undeclared ingredient in many dietary supplements sold in the United States, which has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warning letters <https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/fdainbrief/ucm583021.htm> to specific dietary supplement manufacturers stating that ostarine is an unapproved new drug and that selling the drug is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). More information about the risks of ostarine can be found through a USADA athlete advisory <https://www.usada.org/growing-evidence-ostarine-athlete-risk/>.
The product containing ostarine that Owusu used was added to the USADA High Risk List <https://www.supplement411.org/hrl/> on January 30, 2017.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, USADA manages a drug reference hotline, Global Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com <https://www.GlobalDRO.com>), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.