© Copyright – 2017 – Athletics Illustrated

American middle-distance runner, Ajee Wilson from Philadelphia, PA, tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug Zeranol, which is sold under the brand name Ralone. The positive result was taken from a urine sample on Feb. 11, 2017, at the NYRR Millrose Games in New York. She will lose a record and forfeit some winnings, however, will not face suspension.

The United States Anti-doping Agency’s public statement on the matter does not pass the Athletics Illustrated smell test.

The non-suspension discipline was handed down by her own anti-doping agency, USADA. They claim that Wilson ingested tainted beef that contained the Zeranol, which is apparently legal to inject into cattle in America, but interestingly not so in Europe.

Three-quarters of USADA’s public statement regarding Wilson’s positive test was about their process for handling the case as well as their efforts to test athletes and their general responsibilities as an anti-doping agency. It was a sales pitch on due diligence.

If a Russian athlete tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and the test results and disciplinary hearing were handled by the Russian Anti-doping Agency, would the athletics world accept an identical disciplinary result? The short answer is no.

How about Turkey, where three dozen athletes tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanazolol in 2015?  How about Jamaica and their preference for stimulants or Kenya and EPO, the red blood cell booster?

According to USADA, her dose was so low, “demonstrating low parts per billion concentrations“ that it apparently was not enough to provide performance enhancement. There was no mention that they determined during the investigation that they ruled out micro-dosing. Perhaps they caught her at low ebb? Micro-dosing is a popular practise to avoid positive results. Apparently, that road was unnecessary to travel down.

USADA said that during its investigation into the circumstances that led to the positive test, they gathered evidence from Wilson, which included reviewing her dietary habits and food purchase receipts.

Does a 23-year-old jet-setting international athlete really keep and file food receipts? It is highly suspect that they actually investigated receipts for purchasing groceries.

USADA should have available those receipts if they are going to make a claim like that.

If the test results were so low that they do not provide performance enhancement and as they also claim in the statement, “she did not test positive the week before,” meaning it must have been a recently ingested beef-food product, then why take away a record and winnings at all? She, in their statement, was basically saying that no performance enhancement took place.

Either it did or it didn’t happen. Their statement and disciplinary process is rife with contradiction.

Something other than tainted beef smells rancid here.

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