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AAA Arbitrator Imposes 16-Month Sanction on Track and Field Athlete Inika McPherson for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

An empty track on a blue sky day.USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has rendered a decision in the case of track and field athlete Inika McPherson, of Houston, Tx. After an evidentiary hearing on March 17, 2023, where both McPherson and USADA were provided a full opportunity to present their cases and witnesses to the independent arbitrator, the arbitrator determined that McPherson will receive a 16-month sanction for testing positive for a prohibited substance.

McPherson, 36, tested positive for furosemide as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample collection on June 3, 2022. Furosemide is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Other Masking Agents and is 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 and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

McPherson’s violation resulted from her use of another person’s prescription furosemide medication under the mistaken belief that it was a permitted anti-inflammatory medication. The independent arbitrator found that McPherson’s reduced degree of fault warranted a reduced sanction of 16 months from the default two-year period of ineligibility.

McPherson’s 16-month period of ineligibility began on July 22, 2022, the date her provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, McPherson has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to June 3, 2022, the date her positive sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

AAA Decision

This 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 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 (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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