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U.S. Track & Field Athlete Gwendolyn Berry Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

An empty track and stadium.USADA announced today that Gwendolyn Berry of Antioch, Tennessee, an athlete in the sport of track and field, has accepted a sixteen-month sanction for an anti-doping rule violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

Berry, 34, tested positive for canrenone, a metabolite of spironolactone as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample collected on March 23, 2023. Berry’s violation resulted from her use of a topical medication containing spironolactone for which she had a prescription. However, Berry failed to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the medication.

Spironolactone and canrenone are Specified Substances in the class of Diuretics and Masking 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 Policy, and the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Berry’s sixteen-month period of ineligibility began on April 28, 2023, the date her provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Berry has been disqualified from any competitive results obtained on and subsequent to March 23, 2023, the date her positive sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes. This is Berry’s second anti-doping rule violation within a ten-year period, so the period of ineligibility is increased as required under the Code. Both anti-doping rule violations involved prescribed medications for which Berry did not have a TUE.

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 file and update athlete Whereabouts, 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 a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, a clean sport handbook, and periodic alerts and advisories.

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 text at 87232 (“USADA”), 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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