USADA announced today that Oscar Tovar, of Chia, Colombia, an athlete in the sport of cycling, has had his results disqualified for competing while ineligible.
Tovar, 33, initially accepted a two-year period of ineligibility and loss of results in October of 2015 after a sample he provided during an in-competition test at the 2015 Gran Fondo New York tested positive for a prohibited anabolic agent. Despite signing an Acceptance of Sanction form, Tovar went on to compete in the 2016 Clásica Nacional Alcaldía de Anapoima (the Clásica), a competition sanctioned by the Federación Colombiana de Ciclismo (FCC), thereby violating the terms of his sanction.
Upon investigating the circumstances of the violation, USADA concluded that Tovar was operating under the mistaken belief that he was eligible to obtain the cycling license that permitted him to compete in the event. Tovar explained that he contacted the Asociacion Colombiana de Ciclismo Senior Master, instead of USADA, to help him determine his eligibility status because he thought that was the appropriate course of action based on his understanding of the terms of his sanction.
During the course of its investigation, USADA determined that Tovar was able to obtain a cycling license from the FCC because neither the FCC nor the Colombian National Anti‐Doping Organization had a record of a positive test or disciplinary action involving Tovar that would adversely affect his eligibility for the cycling license. As a result, Tovar was improperly permitted to participate in the Clásica. After fully considering the circumstances that resulted in his participation in the Clásica, USADA concluded that Tovar’s level of fault in this matter was low and that an additional period of ineligibility was not warranted. Nonetheless, per the World Anti-Doping Code, Tovar’s results from the Clásica have been disqualified.
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.
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