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Independent Arbitrator Concludes No Fault Violation Appropriate for Track & Field Athlete Erriyon Knighton

An empty track on a blue sky day.USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator has rendered a decision in the case of track and field athlete Erriyon Knighton of Gainesville, Fla. After a full evidentiary hearing on June 14 and 16, 2024, where both Knighton and USADA were provided an opportunity to present their cases and witnesses to the independent arbitrator, the arbitrator determined that Knighton will receive a no fault violation and will not be required to serve any period of ineligibility after testing positive for a metabolite of trenbolone during an out-of-competition drug test on March 26, 2024.

“We did what the rules require us to do in all positive cases,” said USADA CEO, Travis T. Tygart. “We can take comfort that justice was served and transparency as required by the rules was achieved.”

Trenbolone is a non-specified substance in the category of Anabolic Agents and 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 World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

After the hearing, the arbitrator determined that Knighton’s positive test was more likely than not caused by consuming meat contaminated with trenbolone, which is a known livestock growth promoter that is used legally in beef cattle produced in and exported to the United States. Knighton tested positive despite any fault or negligence, so he will not face a period of ineligibility. Since the sample was collected out-of-competition, there are no competitive results to disqualify. As required under the rules, Knighton was provisionally suspended on April 12, 2024, and following this legal proceeding, his provisional suspension has been lifted effective immediately and he is rightfully allowed to compete following this legal process. Both WADA and the Athletics Integrity Unit exercised their right under the rules to observe the evidentiary hearing and both have a right to appeal the arbitrator’s decision.

Read Operative Award

Because this hearing was held on an expedited basis to have the matter resolved before the USA Track & Field Olympic Trials, the arbitrator issued an operative award, which is an abbreviated document that only conveys the arbitrator’s ruling. The operative award can be found here and the reasoned decision will be made publicly available once it is rendered.

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 file and update athlete Whereabouts, 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 (GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, a clean sport handbook, and periodic alerts and advisories.

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 text at 87232 (“USADA”), by email at playclean@USADA.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.

For more information or media inquiries, email media@usada.org.

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