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U.S. Track & Field Athlete Royce Dates Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violations

USADA announced today that Royce Dates of Nashville, Tenn., an athlete in the sport of track and field, has accepted a four-year sanction for his anti-doping rule violations while a member of the Thinking Feet Track Club (the Club).

In 2016, USADA obtained non-analytical evidence that Dates, 25, used and possessed a dietary supplement, which clearly indicated that it contained ostarine, beginning in approximately July 2015. Ostarine is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Association of Athletics Federations Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Ostarine, also known as MK-2866 and Enobosarm, is a non-FDA approved selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is illegally sold in the United States and worldwide as a performance-enhancing substance. Ostarine is not currently available as a prescription medication in any country, and its unauthorized use may carry serious side effects. Nonetheless, ostarine has been found as a declared and undeclared ingredient in many dietary supplements sold in the United States, which has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warning letters to specific dietary supplement manufacturers stating that ostarine is an unapproved new drug and that selling the drug is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. More information about the risks of ostarine can be found through a USADA athlete advisory.

In addition to possessing and using ostarine, Dates is being sanctioned for tampering, administration, and complicity under Articles 2.5, 2.8, and 2.9 of the Code resulting from evidence that he facilitated and encouraged the use of ostarine by at least one other athlete on the Club and attempted to cover up anti-doping rule violations by providing false statements to USADA during its investigation.

Dates is the ninth individual affiliated with the Thinking Feet Track Club to accept a sanction. Dates’s four-year period of ineligibility began on November 8, 2017, the date he admitted his anti-doping rule violations. In addition, Dates has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to July 1, 2015, the approximate date he first ordered a prohibited substance, 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, 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.

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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