July 23, 2018
USADA announced today that Ryan Lochte, of Gainesville, Fla., an athlete in the sport of swimming, has accepted a 14-month sanction for his use of a prohibited method.
On May 24, 2018, Lochte, 33, posted an image on social media depicting himself receiving an intravenous infusion. A subsequent investigation by USADA, with which Lochte fully cooperated, revealed that Lochte received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic in a volume greater than 100 mL in a 12-hour period without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
Intravenous infusions or injections in a volume greater than 100 mL within a 12-hour period are prohibited at all times – except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedures, or clinical diagnostic investigations under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the Fédération Internationale de Natation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Intravenous infusions or injections in excess of 100 mL within a 12-hour period received in any other setting require an approved TUE. If a prohibited substance is administered intravenously or via injection, a TUE is necessary for this substance regardless of volume. Administration of IV infusions over the WADA volume limit, including dietary supplement and vitamin cocktails, provided to athletes for recuperation, recovery or lifestyle reasons is prohibited at all times without prior TUE approval. In situations of medical emergency, a retroactive TUE application pursuant to the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions is acceptable. USADA has additional information regarding IV infusions available here.
Lochte’s 14-month period of ineligibility began on May 24, 2018, the date he received the prohibited intravenous infusion.
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.