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US Rowing Athlete, Tsourtsoulas, Receives Sanction For Anti-Doping Rule Violation

a rowing team training on the waterUSADA announced today that Evangelos Tsourtsoulas of Caldwell, New Jersey, an athlete in the sport of rowing, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and has accepted a public warning and loss of results from October 1, 2010, for his anti-doping rule violation.

Tsourtsoulas, 25, provided a urine sample on October 1, 2010, at the Senior World Championship Trials, held in West Windsor, New Jersey, that resulted in an adverse analytical finding for formoterol, and budesonide. Budesonide is in the class of glucocorticosteroids and formoterol is in the class of beta-2 agonists and are both prohibited substances 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”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Although the substances are prohibited under the applicable rules, an athlete who provides documentation in advance of competition, confirming the diagnosis of a valid medical need, may receive an exemption allowing the use of the substance. At the time of the test, Tsourtsoulas did not have an exemption to use formoterol, or budesonide. After Tsourtsoulas provided his urine sample, he was granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (“TUE”) by FISA. Under the applicable rules, athletes are to have obtained a TUE prior to using prohibited substances in order to avoid an anti-doping rule violation.

As a result of the anti-doping rule violation, Tsourtsoulas is disqualified from the competitive results obtained at the Senior World Championship Trials, where his sample was collected, 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.

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