USADA announced today that Matt Kochem, of Somerset, N.J., an athlete in the sport of rowing, has accepted a one-year suspension for committing an anti-doping rule violation in which he failed to file whereabouts information.
Kochem, 25, is a member of the USADA National Testing Pool, which consists of a select group of athletes subject to certain whereabouts requirements in order to be located for USADA Out-of-Competition testing. Kochem failed to comply with the whereabouts requirements and, as a result, accrued three Whereabouts Failures within an 18-month period. Under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) anti-doping rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”), the combination of three Whereabouts Failures within an 18-month period constitutes a rule violation. A Whereabouts Failure for National Testing Pool athletes includes failure to provide required quarterly whereabouts filings and/or failure to be available for testing due to inaccurate or incomplete information provided by the athlete.
Kochem’s one-year period of ineligibility, began on April 12, 2012, the date he accepted the sanction. As a result of the violation, Kochem has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to January 21, 2012 the date of his third Whereabouts Failure, 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, 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.