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U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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U.S. Softball Athlete Madilyn Nickles Found Not at Fault

USADA announced today that Madilyn Nickles, of Van Nuys, Calif., an athlete in the sport of softball, has tested positive for a prohibited substance, which was determined to have been ingested by her without fault or negligence. As a result, Nickles will not face a period of ineligibility for her positive test.

“While the World Anti-Doping Code requires that this no fault finding be considered a violation and be publicly announced, we strongly believe this case and others like it, including meat contamination and prescription medication contamination cases, should be considered no violation,” said Travis T. Tygart, Chief Executive Officer of USADA. “We will continue to advocate for changes to the World Anti-Doping Code so that where there is no intent to cheat and no performance benefit, an athlete should not face any violation or unnecessary public attention.”

Nickles, 22, tested positive for LGD-4033 (also known as Ligandrol) metabolite, dihydroxy-LGD-4033, as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample she provided on March 3, 2020. LGD-4033 is a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the Association Federation Internationale de Softball Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

During a thorough investigation into the circumstances of Nickles’s case, USADA determined that Nickles’ male partner was using therapeutic doses of LGD-4033 and the low amount of LGD-4033 metabolite detected in her urine sample was consistent with recent exposure to LGD-4033 via sexual transmission. Additionally, a WADA-accredited laboratory confirmed that a product possessed by Nickles’ partner contained therapeutic amounts of LGD-4033.

Nickles will not face a period of ineligibility for her positive test, and because the sample was collected out-of-competition, there are no competitive results to disqualify.

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, 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 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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