January 11, 2017
USADA announced today that Andrew Vrabel, of Chicago, Ill., an athlete in the sport of weightlifting, has accepted a four-year sanction for a non-analytical anti-doping rule violation after admitting to his use of prohibited substances.
Vrabel, 25, was sanctioned for his use and possession of prohibited growth hormone (GH) releasing factors (GHRFs), including, GH-Releasing Hormone (GHRH) analogs, GH Secretagogues (GHS), and GH Releasing Peptides (GHRPs), from approximately August 2013 through October 2013, and March 2015 through November 2015. These substances are in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics and are prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the lnternational Weightlifting Federation Anti-Doping Policy, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
The use of prohibited peptides by athletes and consumers for performance or physique enhancement (including recovery from injury) purposes poses serious health risks, and these peptides are not approved by the FDA for human use or consumption. These products, often branded as for “research/laboratory use only,” have not received any human clinical safety or efficacy evaluation, and are not produced according to Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations. As such, they may cause serious adverse health effects, including immune and toxicity reactions, infection, and even death.
Vrabel’s four-year period of ineligibility began on September 3, 2016, the date he admitted to his anti-doping rule violations. In addition, Vrabel has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 5, 2013, the approximate date he first attempted to obtain prohibited substances in violation of applicable rules, 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.