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Ethiopian Track & Field Athlete, Burka Gameda, Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

USADA announced today that Gebo Burka Gameda, of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, an athlete in the sport of track & field, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted an 18-month sanction for his violation.

Burka Gameda, 28, tested positive for the prohibited substance prednisone as a result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on January 17, 2016, at the Houston Marathon in Houston, Texas. Prednisone is a substance in the class of Glucocorticoids, and is prohibited in-competition by specific routes of administration under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing (the Protocol), the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies (USOC NADP), and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

After a thorough review of the case, including Burka Gameda’s medical records, USADA has accepted his explanation that the prednisone was a prescribed medication he was taking in a therapeutic dose, however without a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

Burka Gameda’s period of ineligibility began on January 17, 2016, the date his positive sample was collected. In addition, Burka Gameda has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to January 17, 2016, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

In order to ensure a level playing for all athletes, USADA conducts in-competition and out-of-competition testing of foreign athletes who live, train, or compete in the United States.

Further, 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.

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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