December 15, 2017
USADA announced today that Tori Polk, of Plano, Texas, an athlete in the sport of track & field, has accepted a two-year sanction for a non-analytical anti-doping rule violation involving her possession of prohibited substances.
In 2016, USADA obtained non-analytical evidence that Polk, 34, received prohibited substances in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics that are 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 and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
During its investigation in the case, USADA determined that Polk received prohibited peptides, and based on the available evidence, USADA accepted Polk’s explanation that she did so inadvertently in that she did not know the substances were on the Prohibited List.
Polk’s two-year period of ineligibility began on April 25, 2016, the date she admitted to her violation. In addition, Polk has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 15, 2015, the approximate date she first obtained prohibited substances in violation of applicable rules, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
The use of prohibited peptides by athletes and consumers for performance or physique enhancement (including recovery from injury) purposes poses serious health risks, and these peptides are not approved by the FDA for human use or consumption. These products, often branded as for “research/laboratory use only,” have not received any human clinical safety or efficacy evaluation, and are not produced according to Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations. As such, they may cause serious adverse health effects, including immune and toxicity reactions, infection, and even death.
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.
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 email@example.com, 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.