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U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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U.S. Track and Field Athlete Cole Walsh Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

track and field athletes immediately after leaving the start line in a raceUSADA announced today that Cole Walsh, of Glendale, Ariz., an athlete in the sport of track and field, has accepted a six-month suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.

Walsh, 24, tested positive for 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (Carboxy-THC) over the Decision Limit of 180 ng/mL, a urinary metabolite of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, marijuana, and/or hashish as the result of a sample collected in-competition at the International Springer-Meeting in Cottbus, Germany on January 29, 2020. Cannabis, marijuana, and hashish are Specified Substances in the class of Cannabinoids and are prohibited in-competition under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Walsh’s sample was collected by the National Anti-Doping Agency of Germany (NADA), and referred to USADA for results management.

Walsh accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on January 29, 2020, the date his positive sample was collected. Based on Walsh’s successful completion of a counseling program regarding his use of marijuana, his period of ineligibility was reduced by three months. In addition, Walsh has been disqualified from competitive results obtained at the International Springer-Meeting, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

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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