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Weightlifting Athlete Nicholas Saccente Receives Sanction for Second Anti-Doping Rule Violation

weightlifterUSADA announced today that Nicholas Saccente, of Springfield, Mass., an athlete in the sport of weightlifting, has received an eight-year suspension for a second violation involving his possession and use or attempted use of prohibited substances and his failure to properly file and maintain his Whereabouts information.

During an investigation, USADA obtained specific and credible evidence that during 2017, Saccente, 27, made at least three online purchases of products containing andarine (S4), ostarine (enobosarm), and GW1516 (GW501516) that were shipped to Saccente’s home in Springfield, Mass.

Andarine and ostarine are non-Specified Substances in the class of Anabolic Agents, and GW1516 is a non-Specified Substance in the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators. These substances 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 International Weightlifting Federation Anti-Doping Policy, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

During the time period in question, Saccente was also a member of the USADA Registered Testing Pool (RTP), which consists of a select group of athletes subject to certain Whereabouts Filing requirements in order to be located for out-of-competition testing. Within a 12-month period, Saccente accrued three Whereabouts Failures as the result of Missed Tests on June 22, 2018, March 20, 2019, and May 19, 2019.

Under the Code, the accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes a rule violation. Pursuant to Article of the Code, Saccente’s violation for possession and use and/or attempted use, and the violation for accumulating three Whereabouts Failures, constitute a single, second violation.

The Code also states that all athletes serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping rule violation are required to continue to make themselves available for testing in order 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.

In this case, Saccente retired on May 20, 2019, after which time he received no credit toward his previous periods of ineligibility, including his first violation and an extended sanction, and he will not receive credit toward the period of ineligibility for his second violation unless and until he returns from retirement.

In addition, Saccente has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to June 16, 2017, the approximate date he received his first order of prohibited substances, 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 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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