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One-Year Suspension Upheld for US Track & Field Athlete, Scherf

image of empty outdoor track starting lineUSADA announced today that a three-person panel from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in its appeal decision, has upheld a one-year suspension for Track & Field athlete, Lindsey Scherf of Somerville, Massachusetts.

Scherf, 21, refused to take part in a doping control test July 1, 2007 at the Gold Coast Marathon in Brisbane, Australia. Her refusal was a violation of the applicable rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the international federation for the sport of Track & Field, and USADA, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code. USADA took into consideration the unusual circumstances of her case in November 2007, originally resolving the matter for a one-year suspension. USADA’s decision was upheld in the CAS panel’s ruling.

Strongly emphasizing the seriousness of refusing to submit to drug testing, the CAS panel found that although the  graveness  of Ms. Scherf’s actions caused her to  be subject to as much  as a two-year suspension, exceptional circumstances warranted the reduction to a one-year sanction. Scherf’s one-year period of ineligibility begins September 21, 2007, the day she was provisionally suspended. Additionally, Scherf is disqualified from all competitive results obtained on or subsequent to July 1, 2007, the day she refused to submit to sample collection, and forfeits any medals, points and prizes.

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 at usada.org 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, conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited Substance Guide, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and complete athlete toolkits.

When available, the final CAS decision will be located on USADA’s website at


USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement. USADA is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.

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