US Track & Field athlete accepts 18-month suspension sanction for anti-doping rule violation
USADA announced, on the 31st May 2013, that Trey Downing, of Houston, Texas, an athlete in the sport of track & field, has accepted an 18-month suspension for an anti-doping rule violation based on his refusal to submit to a sample collection.
On November 14, 2012, Downing, 18, refused to provide a sample as requested by a doping control officer during an out-of-competition test. Under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete's refusal to provide a sample when notified that he has been selected for doping control constitutes a rule violation.
Downing accepted an 18-month period of ineligibility, which began on May 29, 2013, the day he accepted the sanction. USADA concluded that a six-month reduction of the standard two-year period of ineligibility was appropriate in this instance because Downing, a high school student, was advised by his father to refuse to submit to the sample collection process. Both Downing and his father now recognize that refusing to submit to sample collection was not the appropriate response to the doping control officer's request. As a result of the sanction, Downing is also disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to November 14, 2013, the date upon which he refused to submit to sample collection, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.
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, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, 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.