January 29, 2018
USADA announced today that David Less, of Hamburg, N.Y., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a two-year sanction for an anti-doping rule violation due to his refusal to provide a sample.
Less, 56, refused to provide a sample as requested by a doping control officer during an out-of-competition test on October 13, 2017. Evading sample collection, or refusing or failing to submit to sample collection, without compelling justification, is a doping violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
In this case, Less qualified for a sanction reduction from the default four-year period of ineligibility to a two-year period of ineligibility due to mitigating factors. Less’ two-year period of ineligibility began on October 13, 2017, and Less has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to October 13, 2017, 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, 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.
Along with education and testing, robust anti-doping programs enable investigations stemming from tips and whistleblowers. USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by email at email@example.com, by phone at 1-877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253) or by mail.
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.