February 21, 2014
USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA), has rendered a decision in the case of track & field athlete Hirut Beyene. The arbitrator found that Beyene committed an anti-doping rule violation, and imposed a four-month suspension and loss of results for her offense.
Beyene, 21, is originally from Ethiopia and was living and training in New York City, N.Y., when she provided a urine sample after participating in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on May 5, 2013. Her sample resulted in an Adverse Analytical Finding for the stimulant Methylhexaneamine. Stimulants are prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the WADA Prohibited List. Methylhexaneamine is classified as a Specified Substance, and therefore the presence of that substance in an athlete’s sample can result in a reduced sanction.
The AAA arbitrator determined that Beyene had met the burden necessary to establish that her positive test was the result of the use of a contaminated supplement and that a four-month period of ineligibility was appropriate in this case. Beyene’s period of ineligibility began on October 7, 2013, the day she accepted a provisional suspension and ended on February 7, 2014. As a result of the violation, Beyene has also been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to May 5, 2013 through the commencement of her provisional suspension, 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.