USADA announced today that Ridouane Harroufi, of Fort Collins, Colo., an athlete in the sport of track and field, has accepted an eight-year suspension for his second anti-doping rule violation. Harroufi’s first violation was announced in 2013, when he received a two-year suspension from World Athletics for his use of erythropoietin (EPO). Under the World Anti-Doping Code, an eight-year period of ineligibility is the maximum suspension allowed for a second violation.
“Harroufi has twice been found using powerful performance-enhancing drugs,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “While this sanction will not restore the moment stolen from those he beat at the 15K USA Track & Field National Championship in March, it serves as a powerful reminder of the consequences of doping. This sanction and disqualification also show the importance of special analysis like Carbon Isotope Ratio testing to truly root out cheaters and that target testing with appropriate safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential in preventing dopers from taking advantage of the situation and further harming clean athletes.”
Harroufi, 39, tested positive for an anabolic agent as the result of an in-competition drug test collected on March 7, 2020 at the USA Track & Field 15k Championships, as well as during an out-of-competition drug test collected on May 12, 2020. Both positive tests were considered a single violation because the second sample was collected before Harroufi was notified of the results of his first positive test.
USADA requested that his samples receive additional testing using a specialized analysis called Carbon Isotope Ratio (CIR) testing, which differentiates between anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) naturally produced by the body and prohibited anabolic agents of external origin. Anabolic agents have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and can give an athlete an unfair advantage over fellow competitors. Further, all urine and blood samples collected on athletes are examined for Athlete Biological Passport biomarker abnormalities that can be indicative of doping, therefore leading to follow-up testing and/or more specialized analyses.
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 World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Harroufi’s eight-year period of ineligibility began on June 12, 2020, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Harroufi has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to March 7, 2020, including his first-place finish at the 2020 USATF 15K National Championship, in addition to 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 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.
Along with education and testing, robust anti-doping programs enable investigations stemming from tips and whistleblowers. 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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