January 14, 2019
USADA announced today that Robert Brown, of Haslet, Texas, an athlete in the sport of weightlifting, has accepted a nine-month suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.
Brown, 27, tested positive for heptaminol from an in-competition urine sample collected on September 16, 2018, at the American Open Series 3. Heptaminol is a Specified Substance in the class of Stimulants and prohibited in-competition 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 (Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Following an investigation into the circumstances of his case, USADA determined that a supplement Brown was using at the time of his positive test had deceptive labeling, which made it difficult to identify the presence of a prohibited substance. Analysis by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah also confirmed that the supplement contained heptaminol and the product has since been added to the High Risk List maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.supplement411.org). USADA therefore concluded that the athlete’s level of fault was diminished.
Supplement 411 reminds athletes that dietary supplements are regulated in a post-market manner. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve these products prior to them being brought to the market. Dietary supplements may list prohibited substances on the label; they may misidentify prohibited substances on the label; or they may omit prohibited substances from the label altogether, which means that no organization can fully guarantee the safety of any dietary supplement. In addition to Supplement 411, USADA has taken action to address the issues associated with supplements, including publishing a supplement guide to assist athletes with making informed choices and advocating that Congress enact laws to better protect athletes.
Brown’s nine-month period of ineligibility began on September 16, 2018, the date his positive sample was collected. In addition, Brown has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to September 16, 2018, 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 distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as an easy-reference wallet card with examples of prohibited and permitted substances, the aforementioned 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.