April 20, 2017
USADA announced today that a three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has rendered its decision in the case of track & field athlete Brianna Rollins, of Los Angeles, Calif., and has determined that Rollins should receive a 12-month sanction for failing to properly file Whereabouts information.
Rollins, 25, is a member of the USADA Registered Testing Pool, which consists of a select group of athletes who are subject to certain Whereabouts requirements in order to be located for out-of-competition testing. In 2016, Rollins received a Whereabouts Failure from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for being unavailable for testing on April 27, 2016. Later in the year, Rollins received another Whereabouts Failure from USADA for not being available for testing on September 13, 2016. She then received a third Whereabouts Failure from the IAAF for not being available for testing on September 27, 2016. Outside of these Whereabouts Failures, Rollins completed eight out-of-competition tests over the course of 2016. However, under the rules of international Olympic sport, including the IAAF Anti-Doping Policy, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing (the USADA Protocol), all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code, the combination of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes a rule violation.
As is every athlete’s right under the USADA Protocol, Rollins challenged the case in a live hearing before independent arbitrators. The AAA panel, whose members are also members of the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), began Rollins’ 12-month period of ineligibility on December 19, 2016, the date on which USADA formally notified Rollins of her potential rule violation. As a result of the rule violation, Rollins’ competitive results obtained on and subsequent to September 27, 2016, the date of her third Whereabouts Failure, have been disqualified, and any medals, points, and prizes are forfeited.
This decision, as well as other arbitral decisions, can be found here.
Accurate Whereabouts information is crucial for effective out-of-competition testing, which helps deter and detect doping by enabling no-notice sample collection. This is especially important because some prohibited substances have limited detection windows. In an effort to help athletes understand and fulfill their Whereabouts requirements, USADA conducts in-person and online educational sessions with athletes, sends email reminders about filing dates and obligations, maintains online and app-based filing and updating platforms, and gives athletes the option to receive daily and weekly reminders of their provided Whereabouts information.
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.