USADA announced today that Mijail Gonzalez, of Hialeah, Fla., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a four-year sanction for an anti-doping rule violation.
Gonzalez, 44, 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.
Gonzalez tested positive for dexamethasone as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on July 29, 2018, at Vuelta a Miami. Dexamethasone is a Specified Substance in the class of Glucocorticoids and prohibited in-competition when administered by specific routes 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 WADA Prohibited List.
“Athletes deserve a fair playing field at every level of competition so that hard work and talent alone determine success in competition,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “Programs like USA Cycling’s RaceClean initiative help ensure that all athletes have the knowledge they need to compete clean and that those who violate the rules by using powerful performance-enhancing substances are no longer able to claim false victories.”
Glucocorticoids can directly enhance performance by affecting energy, vascular and metabolic systems, as well as having pronounced neurophysiological and psychological benefits. Abuse of glucocorticoids can be dangerous to an athlete’s health, potentially causing both transient and chronic negative health effects, including immunosuppression, endocrine disorders and hypertension. Sensitive laboratory analysis is routinely performed to detect these substances in urine samples.
Gonzalez’s four-year period of ineligibility began on July 29, 2018, the date his positive sample was collected. In addition, Gonzalez has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to July 29, 2018, 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, 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 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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