U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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U.S. Cyclist, Leonard, Accepts Suspension for Doping Violation

close up of group of cyclists wheels and feetUSADA announced today that Stephanie Leonard of Gunnison, CO, an athlete in the sport of cycling, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a suspension for her doping offense.

Leonard, 28, tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol acid, a metabolite of marijuana in the class of Cannabinoids, in a sample collected on May 24, 2009 at the Angel Fire Chili Challenge. Cannabinoids are listed as Specified Substances and are prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the Union Cycliste Internationale, both of which have adopted the World Anti- Doping Code and the WADA Prohibited List. Cannabinoids are listed as Specified Substances because they could be susceptible to a credible non-doping explanation, and therefore use of those substances can result in a reduced sanction.

Leonard accepted a three-month period of ineligibility, which began on June 15, 2009, the day she accepted the sanction. As part of her sanction, the period of ineligibility was suspended and reduced to time served after she completed a USADA anti-doping educational program on June 15, 2009. As a result of the doping violation, Leonard has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on May 24, 2009, the date of her positive test, through and including June 15, 2009, 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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