July 11, 2016
USADA announced today that Nick Brandt-Sorenson of Los Angeles, Calif., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a lifetime sanction for his second and third doping offenses.
In the summer of 2013, just prior to the conclusion of Brandt-Sorenson’s first period of ineligibility, USADA obtained non-analytical evidence indicating that Brandt-Sorenson had engaged in additional prohibited doping conduct, both prior to, and subsequent to, USADA’s announcement of his first doping violation on January 12, 2012. Based on the evidence, USADA concluded that Brandt-Sorenson was involved in running a website called “The Anemia Patient Group,” through which he marketed and distributed prohibited and illegal substances to fellow athletes.
Following a thorough investigation, USADA notified Brandt-Sorenson of its findings. Once confronted with the evidence against him, Brand-Sorenson admitted to his second violation of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) through the possession and trafficking of synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) and human growth hormone (hGH). EPO and hGH are prohibited substances in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors and Related Substances under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Cycling Union (UCI) Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. Brandt-Sorenson’s third doping offense resulted from his attempt to cover up his violations and other complicity as outlined in the Code by failing to fully cooperate with USADA’s investigation into the Anemia Patient Group website, as he had previously agreed to do. Under the Code, a lifetime period of ineligibility is the appropriate consequence for a third anti-doping rule violation.
Brandt-Sorenson’s lifetime period of ineligibility will commence from October 26, 2015, the date on which he accepted the sanction for his second and third anti-doping rule violations. In addition, Brandt-Sorenson has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to January 1, 2011, the approximate date on which Brandt-Sorenson admitted to starting the Anemia Patient Group website – including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
Brandt-Sorenson was previously sanctioned from September 4, 2011, through September 3, 2013, following an adverse analytical finding for Efaproxiral in a sample collected at the 2011 Masters Road Nationals. The use of Efaproxiral is barred as a prohibited method under the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List as a substance that artificially enhances the delivery of oxygen to the tissues of the body.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all 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, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.
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.