USADA announced today that Matt McWhirter, of Scottsdale, Ariz., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has received a four-year suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.
McWhirter was subject to testing due to his membership in USA Cycling, which maintains the RaceClean Program that works to deter doping in the sport of cycling. The goal of the RaceClean Program is to create a level playing field from the grassroot to elite level of cycling.
McWhirter, 49, who placed first in the Men’s Cat 3 at Bike the Bluff on June 19, 2021, tested positive for an anabolic agent as the result of an in-competition drug test at that event. His 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 Union Cycliste Internationale Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
McWhirter’s four-year period of ineligibility began on August 4, 2021, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, McWhirter has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to June 19, 2021, the date his positive sample was collected, 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 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 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.
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 email@example.com, 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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