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U.S. Judo Athlete Nina Cutro-Kelly Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

judo athletesUSADA announced today that Nina Cutro-Kelly of Selma, Texas, an athlete in the sport of judo, has accepted a two-year sanction for an anti-doping rule violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

Cutro-Kelly, 38, tested positive for an anabolic agent as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample collected on October 2, 2022. USADA’s Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) recommended additional screening based on abnormal markers in her sample, so her urine sample was analyzed using a specialized test known as Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS), that unequivocally differentiates between anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) naturally produced by the body and AAS of synthetic origin. The IRMS analysis detected the presence of AAS—in this case, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) or its precursors.

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 International Judo Federation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

During its investigation into the circumstances of the case, USADA determined that Cutro-Kelly used a DHEA supplement at the recommendation of her doctor but failed to assess the prohibited status of any ingredients in the supplement before use despite USADA having educated her on the importance of carefully checking product labels and the significant risks of supplement use.

Cutro-Kelly’s two-year period of ineligibility began on April 12, 2023, the date her provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Cutro-Kelly has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and after October 2, 2022, the date of her positive test, 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 (GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, a clean sport 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 text at 87232 (“USADA”), 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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