April 16, 2019
USADA announced today that Nicholas Gibb, of Colorado Springs, Colo., an athlete in the sport of Paralympic cycling, has tested positive for a prohibited substance, which was determined to have been ingested by him without fault or negligence. As a result, Gibb will not face a period of ineligibility for his positive test.
Gibb, 36, tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided at the U.S. Paralympic Track Cycling Open on February 3, 2019. HCTZ is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and 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 Paralympic Committee Anti-Doping Code, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
During USADA’s investigation into the circumstances of his case, Gibb provided USADA with records for a permitted oral prescription medication he was taking at the time of his positive test. This permitted medication did not list HCTZ or any other prohibited substances on the label. However, detailed laboratory analysis subsequently conducted on the athlete’s medication tablets, as well as independently sourced tablets of the same manufacturer, brand and dose from the same pharmacy, confirmed HCTZ trace contamination consistent with Gibb’s positive test.
“While the rules require this to be publicly announced, we strongly believe this case, and others like it, should be considered no violation,” said Travis T. Tygart, Chief Executive Officer for USADA. “We will continue to advocate in the WADA Code review process that where there is no intent to cheat and no performance benefit, an athlete should not face any violation or unnecessary public attention.”
Gibb will not face a period of ineligibility for his positive test, but because the sample was collected in-competition, he has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on February 3, 2019, the date his sample was collected.
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, a nutrition 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.