USADA announced today that a three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has rendered its decision in the case of U.S. Cycling athlete Jennifer Schumm, of Greenwood Village, Colo., and has determined that Schumm should receive a four-year sanction after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
Schumm, 41, was subject to testing due to her membership in USA Cycling, which maintains the RaceClean Program that works to fight doping at the amateur level of cycling. The goal of the RaceClean Program is to increase testing and education at the amateur level to provide greater doping deterrence and is executed through member funding, donations, and local association partnerships.
Schumm tested positive for the presence of an anabolic agent and/or its metabolites as the result of a urine sample she provided on May 28, 2016, at the 2016 Koppenberg Boulder Spring Classic in Superior, Colo. Her urine sample was analyzed using a specialized test that differentiates between anabolic-androgenic steroids naturally produced by the body and prohibited anabolic agents of external origin. The use of anabolic agents, such as testosterone, 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 International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
While Schumm had been prescribed testosterone by her medical provider, the AAA Panel found that she knew before racing that the testosterone she received was prohibited and failed to declare testosterone on her doping control form. Although an athlete may be prescribed a prohibited substance by a physician, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) is required to authorize the use of a prohibited substance in sport, and athletes have access to resources from both USADA and WADA that explain the TUE requirements.
Under the USADA TUE Policy, an athlete has the responsibility to demonstrate in advance of using a prohibited substance that the medical need to treat an acute or chronic condition satisfies all four strict criteria within the WADA International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE). In this instance, Schumm’s TUE application was denied because USADA’s independent TUE Committee of endocrinologists unanimously determined it did not meet the ISTUE criteria. Anabolic agents like testosterone have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and can give an athlete an unfair advantage over fellow competitors, which is why the ISTUE requires that rigorous criteria be fulfilled, beyond merely providing a prescription.
Schumm’s four-year period of ineligibility began on July 21, 2016, the date she accepted a provisional suspension. In addition, Schumm has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 28, 2016, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.
The AAA award, as well as other arbitral decisions, can be found here.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all 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, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, 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 e-mail 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.
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