USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has rendered a decision in the case of wheelchair tennis athlete Taylor Graham, of Lincoln, Neb. After an evidentiary hearing on March 21, 2022, where both Graham and USADA were provided a full opportunity to present their cases and witnesses to the independent arbitrator, the arbitrator determined that Graham will receive a four-year sanction for his refusal to provide a urine sample.
Graham, 27, refused to provide a sample as requested by a USADA doping control officer during an out-of-competition test on September 8, 2021. Evading sample collection, or refusing or failing to submit to sample collection, without compelling justification, is an anti-doping rule violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Tennis Federation Anti-Doping Programme, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Graham’s four-year period of ineligibility began on October 15, 2021, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Graham has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to September 8, 2021, the date he refused to provide a sample, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
This decision, as well as other arbitral decisions, can be found here.
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, an 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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