August 22, 2018
USADA announced today that Joshua Gaskins, of Columbia, Mo., an athlete in the sport of weightlifting, has received a two-year sanction for an anti-doping rule violation.
Gaskins, 25, tested positive for the presence of an anabolic agent and/or its metabolites as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided at the American Open Series 1 on March 3, 2018. His urine sample was analyzed using a specialized test that differentiates between anabolic-androgenic steroids naturally produced by the body and prohibited anabolic agents of external origin. Anabolic agents have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and can give an athlete an unfair advantage over fellow competitors. The use of anabolic agents is 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 Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the WADA Prohibited List.
Under the World Anti-Doping Code, the period of ineligibility for an anti-doping rule violation resulting from use of an anabolic agent shall be four years, unless it is determined that the violation was not intentional. Here, after a thorough review of the available information, USADA concluded that Gaskin’s positive test appeared not to result from a deliberate act to cheat and that a two-year period of ineligibility was the appropriate sanction for his anti-doping rule violation.
Gaskins’ two-year period of ineligibility began on May 18, 2018, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Gaskins has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to March 3, 2018, the date his positive sample was collected, 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 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 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.