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U.S. Weightlifting Athlete Ella Nicholson Accepts Public Warning

weightlifterUSADA announced today that Ella Nicholson, of Medina, Ohio, has accepted a public warning for failing to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) prior to her use of an otherwise prohibited medication. Nicholson’s violation resulted from her use of spironolactone, a prescription topical acne medication that she used under the care of a physician for a diagnosed medical condition. Nicholson, 17, has since received a TUE to authorize future use of this medication in sport. Despite her young age, for the past year Nicholson has been included in USADA’s Registered Testing Pool (RTP), which consists of a select group of elite athletes subject to certain Whereabouts requirements to be located for out-of-competition testing. RTP athletes receive yearly anti-doping education that includes education on the need to apply for TUEs when taking medications that contain prohibited substances.

Because Nicholson’s positive sample from May 3, 2024 was collected out of competition, there are no competitive results to disqualify.

Athletes are reminded that they are responsible for all substances that go in or on their bodies including gels, creams, and lotions, and USADA strongly advises that athletes check all medications and ingredients before use.

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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