December 19, 2014 – USADA announced today that Inika McPherson, of Houston, Texas, an athlete in the sport of track & field, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a twenty-one month sanction for her rule violation.
McPherson, 28, tested positive for benzoylecgonine as a result of an in-competition urine sample she provided on June 29, 2014, at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships held in Sacramento, Calif. Benzoylecgonine is a metabolite of cocaine, a substance in the class of Stimulants prohibited 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 and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
After a thorough review of the case, USADA determined a twenty-one month sanction was appropriate upon concluding that the athlete did not intend to impermissibly enhance her athletic performance through the use of a prohibited stimulant.
McPherson’s sanction began on July 27, 2014, the day she accepted a provisional suspension. In addition, McPherson has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to June 29, 2014, the date her sample was collected, 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.