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U.S. Track & Field Athlete Imani Oliver Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

USADA announced today that Imani Oliver, of Nashville, Tenn., an athlete in the sport of track and field, has accepted a one-year sanction for an anti-doping rule violation.

Oliver, 24, tested positive for ostarine as the result of an in-competition urine sample she provided on July 7, 2016, at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Ostarine is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and 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 Association of Athletics Federations Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Ostarine, also known as MK-2866 and Enobosarm, is a non-FDA approved selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is illegally sold in the United States and worldwide as a performance-enhancing substance. Ostarine is not currently available as a prescription medication in any country, and its unauthorized use may carry serious side effects. Nonetheless, ostarine has been found as a declared and undeclared ingredient in many dietary supplements sold in the United States, which has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warning letters to specific dietary supplement manufacturers stating that ostarine is an unapproved new drug and that selling the drug is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).

Following an investigation into the circumstances of the case, USADA determined that Oliver’s positive test resulted from her use of a product marketed as a dietary supplement that specifically listed ostarine as the primary active ingredient. The investigation revealed that Oliver purchased the dietary supplement that contained ostarine, as well as another dietary supplement that contained the prohibited substance arimistane, which is a Hormone and Metabolic Modulator, on March 16, 2016, based on the recommendation and assurances of her coach, Kenta Bell of the Thinking Feet Track Club. Thereafter, USADA concluded that a reduction in the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility was appropriate based on Oliver’s voluntary admission of her anti-doping rule violation, full cooperation, and substantial assistance to USADA officials since the start of its investigation.

Oliver’s one-year period of ineligibility began on July 7, 2016, the date her positive sample was collected. In addition, Oliver has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to March 16, 2016, the date she acknowledge ordering supplements that contained ostarine and arimistane, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

The products containing ostarine and arimistane that Oliver used have since been added to the USADA High Risk List.

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, USADA manages a drug reference hotline, Global 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 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.


*This release was updated on January 11, 2018, to provide additional context from related cases that have since been resolved.

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