USADA announced today that Zach Taylor of Fairfield, Connecticut, an athlete in the sport of powerlifting, has accepted a three-month period of ineligibility for an anti-doping rule violation.
Taylor, 23, tested positive for 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (Carboxy-THC), a urinary metabolite of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, marijuana, and hashish, above the urinary Decision Limit of 180 ng/mL, as the result of a sample collected in-competition at the 2023 Powerlifting America Classic Sub-Junior, Junior, and Master Nationals & 2023 Powerlifting America Equipped Nationals on June 2, 2023. USADA was contracted by event organizers to conduct testing and results management for the event and collected Taylor’s sample in accordance with the WADA International Standard for Testing.
Cannabis, marijuana, and hashish are Specified Substances in the class of Cannabinoids and are prohibited in competition under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Powerlifting Federation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Under the 2021 Code, THC is classified under a special category that allows for a reduced three-month sanction if the athlete establishes that their use of the substance occurred out-of-competition and was unrelated to sport performance. The sanction may be further reduced to one month if the athlete satisfactorily completes a treatment program approved by USADA.
Taylor qualified for a reduced sanction because his use occurred out-of-competition and was unrelated to sport performance. Taylor accepted a three-month period of ineligibility that began on July 7, 2023, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. Because he chose not to participate in the treatment program, Taylor did not qualify for a one-month period of ineligibility. In addition, Taylor has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and after June 2, 2023, the date his positive sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
WADA seeks input on each year’s updated version of the Prohibited List. USADA has advocated and will continue to advocate to WADA, the rule maker, to treat marijuana in a fairer and more effective way to identify true in-competition use.
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 (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, a 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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