U.S. Weightlifting Athlete Robert Brown Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

Press Release

16th January 2019

USADA announced today that Robert Brown, of Haslet, Texas, an athlete in the sport of weightlifting, has accepted a nine-month suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.

Brown, 27, tested positive for heptaminol from an in-competition urine sample collected on September 16, 2018, at the American Open Series 3. Heptaminol is a Specified Substance in the class of Stimulants and prohibited in-competition under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Weightlifting Federation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Following an investigation into the circumstances of his case, USADA determined that a supplement Brown was using at the time of his positive test had deceptive labeling, which made it difficult to identify the presence of a prohibited substance. Analysis by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah also confirmed that the supplement contained heptaminol and the product has since been added to the High Risk List maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.supplement411.org). USADA therefore concluded that the athlete’s level of fault was diminished.

Supplement 411 reminds athletes that dietary supplements are regulated in a post-market manner. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve these products prior to them being brought to the market. Dietary supplements may list prohibited substances on the label; they may misidentify prohibited substances on the label; or they may omit prohibited substances from the label altogether, which means that no organization can fully guarantee the safety of any dietary supplement. In addition to Supplement 411, USADA has taken action to address the issues associated with supplements, including publishing a supplement guide <https://mailchi.mp/22b7a708984d/truesport-supplement-guide> to assist athletes with making informed choices and advocating that Congress enact laws to better protect athletes.

Brown’s nine-month period of ineligibility began on September 16, 2018, the date his positive sample was collected. In addition, Brown has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to September 16, 2018, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

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