February 12, 2019
USADA announced today that Ira Sorensen, of Herriman, Utah, an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a two-year suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.
In addition to its Olympic and Paralympic anti-doping programs, USADA works with National Governing Bodies (NGBs) in sport to execute anti-doping initiatives like the RaceClean Program that are funded by the NGB. Sorensen, 43, was subject to testing due to his membership in USA Cycling, which maintains the RaceClean Program that works to fight doping in the sport of cycling. The goal of the RaceClean Program is to increase testing and education to provide greater doping deterrence and is maintained through member funding, donations, and local association partnerships.
Sorensen tested positive for androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS), specifically the use of testosterone and/or testosterone metabolites, from an in-competition urine sample collected on September 8, 2018 at the LoToJa Classic. His urine sample was analyzed using a specialized test that differentiates between AAS naturally produced by the body and prohibited anabolic agents of external origin. Anabolic agents have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and have been demonstrated to give athletes an unfair advantage over fellow competitors.
AAS are non-Specified Substances in the class of Anabolic Agents 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 International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Although the athlete’s medical records showed that his use of testosterone was pursuant to a prescription he was taking in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician, he lacked a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Under the USADA TUE Policy, an athlete has the responsibility to demonstrate in advance of using a prohibited substance that the medical need to treat an acute or chronic condition satisfies all four strict criteria within the WADA International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE). It is also important to understand that a prescription in and of itself is not adequate evidence to authorize the use of a prohibited substance in sport.
Sorensen’s two-year period of ineligibility began on September 8, 2018, the date his positive sample was collected. In addition, Sorensen has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to March 19, 2011, the date he began competing in USA Cycling-sanctioned events while using prohibited substances, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as 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 (www.Supplement411.org) 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 distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as an easy-reference wallet card with examples of prohibited and permitted substances, a supplement guide, an athlete handbook, and periodic alerts and advisories.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.