USADA announced today that Rebekah Koehly, of Austin, Texas, an athlete in the sport of weightlifting, has accepted a 20-month suspension for an anti-doping rule violation involving her possession and use and/or attempted use of a prohibited substance.
Koehly, 40, declared the use of testosterone during an in-competition sample collection session at the Howard Cohen American Masters Championship on November 14, 2020. Testosterone is a Non-Specified Substance in the category of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Weightlifting Anti-Doping Policy, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
After investigating, USADA determined that Koehly was taking testosterone in a therapeutic dose at the direction of a physician but lacked a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Under the USADA TUE Policy, an athlete has the responsibility to demonstrate that the medical need to treat an acute or chronic condition satisfies all four strict criteria within the WADA International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE). Anabolic agents like testosterone have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and can give an athlete an unfair advantage over fellow competitors, which is why criteria must be fulfilled beyond merely providing a prescription.
Koehly accepted a 20-month period of ineligibility that began on November 14, 2020, the date her positive sample was collected. In addition, Koehly’s competitive results obtained on and subsequent to November 14, 2020, have been disqualified, 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 (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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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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