September 20, 2013
USADA announced today that Spencer Walden of Carthage, N.C., an athlete in the sport of track & field, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a suspension for his doping offense.
Walden, 19, tested positive for Carboxy-THC, a marijuana metabolite in the class of Cannabinoids, as the result of an in-competition urine sample collected on July 28, 2013 at the USA Junior Olympic National Championships in, Greensboro, N.C. Cannabinoids are prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the WADA Prohibited List. Cannabinoids are listed as Specified Substances, and therefore the presence of those substances in an athlete’s sample can result in a reduced sanction.
Walden accepted a six-month period of ineligibility, which began on September 4, 2013, the date he accepted a provisional suspension. The period of ineligibility was reduced to three months after his successful completion of a USADA anti-doping educational program.
As a result of the doping violation, Walden has been disqualified from his competitive results achieved at the USA Junior Olympic National Championships on July 28, 2013, the date 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.