USADA announced today that Stephen Bedford, of Portland, Ore., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a six-month sanction for an anti-doping rule violation.
Bedford was subject to testing due to his membership in USA Cycling, which maintains the RaceClean Program that works to fight doping in the sport of cycling. The goal of the RaceClean Program is to increase testing and education to provide greater doping deterrence and is executed through member funding, donations, and local association partnerships.
Bedford, 40, tested positive for Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Carboxy-THC), the pharmacologically-active metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish, above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL, as a result of a urine sample collected in-competition on July 21, 2018, at the Marymoor Grand Prix. Marijuana and hashish are Specified Substances in the class of Cannabinoids 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 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.
Bedford accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on July 21, 2018, the date he provided his sample. Based on Bedford’s successful completion of a USADA anti-doping educational tutorial, his period of ineligibility was reduced by three months and is now scheduled to expire on October 21, 2018. In addition, Bedford has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on and subsequent to July 21, 2018, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
Athletes are advised that the use of a substance or medication out-of-competition, that is prohibited only in-competition, may result in an anti-doping rule violation if the prohibited substance is still present in their body when tested at a competition. USADA cannot predict the clearance time for any substance for any particular individual. If an athlete needs to therapeutically use a substance prohibited in-competition and they are nearing a competition, they are strongly encouraged to contact USADA to learn if they need a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
As a reminder, although some states have passed laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use, since marijuana is a prohibited substance in-competition, U.S. athletes must abide by this prohibition. For more information, USADA maintains a resource for answers to Common Questions regarding Marijuana and Cannabinoids.
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 (www.Supplement411.org) 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, 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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