USADA announced today that Roger Whitham of Frisco, Texas, an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a three-year sanction for an anti-doping rule violation after testing positive for multiple prohibited substances. Whitham’s use of banned substances was first reported to USADA via the Play Clean Tip Center. Given his level of competition, Whitham has never been in a USADA Whereabouts pool and had not been tested by USADA before. However, like all athletes in the sport, he is still subject to testing.
In addition to education and testing, robust anti-doping programs enable investigations stemming from various sources, including tips and whistleblowers. USADA investigations can reveal evidence about the actions of coaches, athletes, and support personnel who have engaged in, instigated, facilitated, or encouraged doping.
In response to a credible tip, USADA opened an investigation and collected a sample from Whitham, 37, who tested positive for boldenone metabolite 5β-androst-1-en-17β-ol-3-one, GW1516 metabolites GW1516 sulfone and GW1516 sulfoxide, ibutamoren, and ostarine during an out-of-competition drug test on May 4, 2023.
Boldenone and its metabolites and ostarine are Prohibited Substances in the class of Anabolic Agents; GW1516 and its metabolites are Prohibited Substances in the class of Metabolic Modulators; and ibutamoren is a Prohibited Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors and Related Substances. All substances 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 International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Under Article 10.8.1 of the Code, an athlete who faces an anti-doping rule violation that carries a period of ineligibility of four or more years may receive a one-year sanction reduction if the athlete admits the violation and accepts the asserted sanction within 20 days of notification of the alleged anti-doping rule violation charge. Per the rule, Whitham qualified for a one-year reduction to the otherwise applicable four-year period of ineligibility.
Whitham’s three-year period of ineligibility began on June 7, 2023, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Whitham has been disqualified from any competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 4, 2023, the date his positive sample was collected, 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 a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, a clean sport 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 text at 87232 (“USADA”), 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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