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AAA Arbitrator Imposes Four-Year Sanction on U.S. Weightlifting Athlete Kiara Akuna for Doping Violation

weightlifterUSADA announced today that an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has rendered a decision in the case of weightlifting athlete Kiara Akuna, of Port Orange, Fla., and has determined that Akuna should receive a four-year sanction after testing positive for prohibited substances.

Akuna, 17, tested positive for 17β‐hydroxymethyl‐17α‐methyl‐18‐norandrost‐1,4,13‐trien‐3‐one, a metabolite of methandienone, and 4‐chloro‐18‐nor‐17β‐hydroxymethyl, 17α‐methyl‐5α‐androst‐13‐en‐3α‐ol (M3), a metabolite of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT or oral turinabol) and/or other related 4‐chlorinated, 17α‐methylated anabolic steroids as the result of a urine sample collected in-competition at National Junior Championships on February 16, 2019. Methandienone, DHCMT, and all anabolic steroids are non-Specified Substances in the class of Anabolic Agents and are prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Weightlifting Federation Anti-Doping Policy, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Kiara Akuna Final AAA Award Cover
AAA Decision

Akuna’s four-year period of ineligibility began on March 7, 2019, the date her provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Akuna has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to February 16, 2019, the date her positive sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

This decision, as well as other arbitral decisions, can be found here.

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. If athletes choose to use supplements despite the known risks, USADA has always recommended that athletes use only dietary supplements that have been certified by a third-party program that tests for substances prohibited in sport. USADA currently recognizes NSF Certified for Sport® as the program best suited for athletes to reduce the risk from supplements.

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 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.

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