USADA announced today that Joseph Baratto, of Seattle, Wash., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a one-year suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.
Baratto was subject to testing due to his membership in USA Cycling, which maintains the RaceClean Program that works to fight doping in the sport of cycling. The goal of the RaceClean Program is to increase testing and education to provide greater doping deterrence and is executed through member funding, donations, and local association partnerships.
Barato, 57, tested positive for androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS), specifically testosterone and/or testosterone metabolites, as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided at the Marymoor Grand Prix on July 21, 2018. His urine sample was analyzed using a specialized test that differentiates between AAS naturally produced by the body and prohibited anabolic agents of external origin. Anabolic agents have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and have been demonstrated to give athletes an unfair advantage over fellow competitors.
AAS are non-Specified Substances in the class of Anabolic Agents and are 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 Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
After a thorough review of the available information, including Baratto’s medical records, it was established that his use of testosterone was pursuant to a prescription he was taking in a therapeutic dose under the care of a qualified physician.
Baratto submitted applications for a TUE in January and October 2017, before submitting all of the necessary information in an application in September 2018. Although USADA’s independent TUE Committee determined that he did not qualify for a TUE, he did receive a Recreational Competitor TUE (RCTUE). For recreational competitors like Baratto, an RCTUE may be available if specific conditions are met. These factors available only to recreational athletes balance the athlete’s therapeutic need for a medication and the potential to enhance competitive outcomes. In Baratto’s case, he was granted an RCTUE authorizing his continued use of his testosterone medication as a recreational competitor based on the extensive clinical evidence provided in his final application. RCTUEs are not allowed for national-level competitions or international competitions.
Baratto’s one-year period of ineligibility began on August 21, 2018, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Baratto has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 31, 2004, his earliest USA Cycling results while using testosterone, 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 (www.Supplement411.org) 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 firstname.lastname@example.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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