March 12, 2015
USADA announced today that an independent Arbitration panel from the American Arbitration Association, North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA), has rendered its decision in the case of Atalelech Ketema Asfaw, of Albuquerque, N.M., an athlete in the sport of track & field.
The AAA Panel found that Asfaw, 32, committed an anti-doping rule violation when she tested positive for ephedrine from a sample collected at the 2014 Maraton Movistar Lima 42K on May 18, 2014, and that no reduction of the standard two-year period of ineligibility was appropriate in this case. Ephedrine is a prohibited substance in the class of Stimulants and, when found above a certain threshold, its in-competition use violates 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 (Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
The Panel ruled that Asfaw’s period of ineligibility should commence on May 18, 2014, the date she provided the positive sample. She is also disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 18, 2014, 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.