U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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Rowing Athlete Receives Sanction

a rowing team training on the waterUSADA announced today that U.S. Rowing athlete Samuel Burns (Philadelphia, PA) has received a two-year suspension for an Anti-Doping Rules Violation (“ADRV”).

Burns, 27, refused to take part in a USADA Out-of-Competition doping control test on February 13, 2009.  Under the rules of the International Federation of Rowing Associations and USADA, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s refusal to provide a sample when notified constitutes an ADRV. The applicable rules also require that an athlete provide written notice of his intent to retire from competition to USADA and the athlete’s National Governing Body in order for retirement to become effective thereby terminating the athlete’s obligation to submit to Out-of-Competition sample collection. Burns did not provide notice to USADA and U.S. Rowing as required prior to his refusal. Burns has since properly retired from competition.

Burns’s two-year period of ineligibility began April 9, 2009. Additionally, Burns is disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to February 13, 2009, the date upon which he refused to submit to sample collection, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

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, conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Guide to Prohibited Substances and Methods, 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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