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U.S. Track & Field Athlete Lindsey Scherf Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

An empty track on a blue sky day.USADA announced today that Lindsey Scherf, of Las Vegas, Nev., an athlete in the sport of track and field, has accepted a four-year period of ineligibility for an anti-doping rule violation. Scherf accepted the sanction on the day her case was scheduled to proceed to a hearing before an independent arbitrator.

Scherf, 37, tested positive for an anabolic agent as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample collected on December 26, 2021. Her urine sample was analyzed using a specialized test known as Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS), which is capable of measuring the carbon isotope ratio of urinary steroids and confirming their synthetic origin—in this case, testosterone or its precursors. IRMS is a powerful tool that unequivocally differentiates between anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) naturally produced by the body and AAS of synthetic origin. Anabolic agents like testosterone have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and can give an athlete an unfair advantage over fellow competitors.

All 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 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 Prohibited List.

Under the Code, all athletes serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping rule violation are required to continue to make themselves available for testing to receive credit for time completed under their sanction. If an athlete retires during their period of ineligibility, the athlete’s sanction will be tolled until the athlete returns from retirement and once again becomes available for no-advance-notice, out-of-competition testing for the period of ineligibility.

Scherf’s four-year period of ineligibility took effect on February 7, 2022, the date her provisional suspension was imposed, but Scherf retired on March 14, 2022. Therefore, her period of ineligibility will continue until she returns from retirement and serves the remainder of her period of ineligibility. In addition, Scherf has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to December 26, 2021, the date her positive sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

Under WADA rules, a violation is only considered a second or subsequent violation if it occurs within 10 years of the first violation. Although Scherf was previously sanctioned in 2007, this matter was considered a first violation because it did not occur within 10 years of the 2007 sanction.

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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