March 12, 2013
USADA announced today that Mike Hersey of Centerville, Mass., an athlete in the sport of Paralympic-class sailing, has tested positive for a prohibited substance found in his medication and has accepted a public warning for his rule violation.
Hersey, 49, tested positive for Hydrochlorothiazide and Chlorothiazide as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample collected on November 16, 2012. Hydrochlorothiazide and Chlorothiazide are classified as diuretics on the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List and, therefore, prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) anti-doping rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Hydrochlorothiazide and Chlorothiazide are classified as Specified Substances, and therefore the presence of Hydrochlorothiazide and Chlorothiazide in an athlete’s sample can result in a reduced sanction. Hersey was taking a prescribed medication in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician; however, Hersey failed to obtain a therapeutic use exemption in advance of the test as required by the rules.
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.