June 30, 2017
USADA announced today that an arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has rendered a decision in the case of weightlifting athlete, Benjamin Barnes, of Long Beach, N.Y., and has determined that Barnes should receive a four-year sanction after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
Barnes, 26, tested positive for GW1516 sulfoxide and GW1516 sulfone, which are metabolites of GW1516, a Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor δ (PPARδ) agonist, as the result of a urine sample he provided on December 10, 2016, at the USA Weightlifting American Open in Orlando, Fla. GW1516 is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and 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 International Weightlifting Federation Anti-Doping Policy, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
GW1516, also known as GW501516, is an experimental drug that was terminated by the pharmaceutical company after serious toxicities occurred during pre-clinical studies. In 2013, WADA issued an alert warning that GW1516, which is not approved by the FDA, is being sold illegally on the black market and obtained by athletes.
Barnes’ four-year period of ineligibility began on June 29, 2017, the date his sanction was imposed. As a result of the doping violation, Barnes’ competitive results obtained on and subsequent to December 10, 2016, the date his positive sample was collected, have been disqualified, and any medals, points, and prizes are forfeited.
This decision, as well as other arbitral decisions, can be found here.
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 psychoactive drugs. In addition, USADA manages a drug reference hotline, Global 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, including foreign athletes competing, training, or living in the U.S. USADA is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.