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U.S. Weightlifting Athlete Robert Ortiz Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

weightlifterAugust 27, 2018

USADA announced today that Robert “Bert” Ortiz, of Brockport, N.Y., an athlete in the sport of weightlifting, has accepted a 16-month sanction for an anti-doping rule violation.

Ortiz, 26, tested positive for 1,4‐dimethylpentylamine as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided at the National Championships on May 25, 2018. 1,4‐dimethylpentylamine (also known as 5-methyl-2-hexanamine) is a Specified Substance in the class of Stimulants and prohibited in-competition under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Weightlifting Federation Anti-Doping Policy, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the WADA Prohibited List.

Following an investigation into the circumstances of his case, USADA accepted Ortiz’s explanation that his positive test was caused by his use of a high risk dietary supplement included on the High Risk List maintained through USADA’s dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.Supplement411.org). Detailed analysis conducted on the supplement by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, confirmed that the supplement contained 1,4‐dimethylpentylamine at levels consistent with the facts of the case. Although 1,4-dimethypentylamine was not listed on the Supplement Facts label, another prohibited substance, higenamine, was listed on the label.

Pre-workout supplements are considered high-risk and may contain prohibited designer stimulants, such as DMAA (1, 3-dimethylamylamine), DMBA (1,3-dimethylbutylamine) and 1,4-dimethylpentylamine. Some dietary supplements also claim to contain ingredients that have beta-2 agonist and stimulant activity, such as higenamine (also known as norcoclaurine). Higenamine is prohibited at all times as a beta-2 agonist.

While all athletes have access to resources like Supplement 411 and the High Risk List, USADA determined that Ortiz’s perceived level of risk and subsequent level of care in relation to supplements was reduced due to never having been in the Registered Testing Pool.

Ortiz’s 16-month period of ineligibility began on May 25, 2018, the date his positive sample was collected. In addition, Ortiz has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 25, 2018, 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 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 proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.

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 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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