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U.S. Cycling Athlete Barbara Gicquel Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

close up of group of cyclists wheels and feetUSADA announced today that Barbara Gicquel, of Salinas, Calif., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a one-year suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.

Gicquel, 80, was tested upon request by USA Cycling to validate a world record that she set on August 29, 2019. Anti-doping testing is required by USA Cycling Rules to certify national and international records.

The in-competition urine sample she provided tested positive for 17α-methyl-5β-androstan-3α,17β-diol and 17α-methyl-5α-androstan-3α,17β-diol, which are metabolites of methyltestosterone. Methyltestosterone is a Non-Specified Substance in the class 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 International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Gicquel applied for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for retroactive permission to use a medication containing methyltestosterone that she had used since March 2005, but did not declare on any doping control forms. Her TUE application was denied because the documentation she submitted did not establish that she had a medical condition that required the use of methyltestosterone and indicated that her use of the medication was likely to provide an additional athletic performance benefit beyond a return to a normal state of health.

Gicquel accepted a one-year sanction for her positive test and long-time use of a prohibited substance, but she contested the start date of the disqualification of her results, including event wins and national and world records. Gicquel and USADA agreed to submit the question of the disqualification start date to an independent arbitrator, who concluded that Gicquel’s results should be disqualified starting August 29, 2015, the date on which she first learned that her medication contained a prohibited substance.

AAA Decision
AAA Decision

Gicquel’s one-year period of ineligibility began on August 29, 2019, the date her positive sample was collected. Per the decision of the independent arbitrator, Gicquel has also been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 29, 2015. The AAA 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.

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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