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AAA Arbitrator Imposes Four-Year Sanction on Rugby Athlete Lorenzo Thomas for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

AAA Arbitrator Imposes Four-Year Sanction on Rugby Athlete Lorenzo Thomas for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

Press Release

8th March 2021

USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has concluded the case of rugby athlete Lorenzo Thomas, of St. Charles, Mo., and has determined that Thomas should receive a four-year sanction for his anti-doping rule violations. The decision comes after the facts of the case were presented and fully argued at an evidentiary hearing on January 28, 2021.

Thomas, 24, tested positive for two metabolites of GW1516 (GW501516) as the result of an out-of-competition drug test conducted on July 9, 2019. GW1516 is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the World Rugby Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

The athlete’s counsel challenged the integrity of the sample collection but after live sworn testimony from the USADA Doping Control Officer and reviewing the paperwork completed during the collection, the independent arbitrator found that USADA followed the procedures and that there were no departures from the collection procedures. The arbitrator upheld the integrity of the collection process and the laboratory finding of the positive. Further, the arbitrator determined the appropriate sanction under the WADA Code based on the totality of the evidence to be four years.

Thomas’ four-year period of ineligibility began on July 25, 2019, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Thomas results have been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on the date of his positive test, July 9, 2019, through the date of provisional suspension, July 25, 2019, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

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