13 December 2016
USADA announced today that Thomas Luton, of McKinney, Texas, an athlete in the sport of cycling, has received a four-year sanction for a non-analytical anti-doping rule violation stemming from an investigation into a website called “The Anemia Patient Group,” which illegally marketed and distributed prohibited substances to athletes.
Luton, 41, was sanctioned for his use and possession of erythropoietin (EPO), human growth hormone (hGH), and testosterone from 2010 through 2012. EPO and hGH are prohibited substances in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors and Related Substances, while testosterone is in the class of Anabolic Agents. These substances are 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 Union Cycliste International Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Luton’s period of ineligibility began on December 7, 2016, the date on which his sanction was imposed. In addition, Luton has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to January 16, 2011, the start of his 2011 cycling season, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
Luton’s anti-doping rule violation was uncovered during USADA’s investigation into the Anemia Patient Group website and is the sixth sanction to result from the investigation. USADA has worked in coordination with law enforcement to investigate cases and values their partnership in defending clean sport.
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), 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.