USADA announced today that Walt Harris, of Homewood, Ala., has accepted a four-month sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for a prohibited substance from a contaminated supplement.
Harris, 35, tested positive for LGD-4033 as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on December 29, 2018 that was collected by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) at UFC 232 in Inglewood, Calif. LGD-4033 is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP), which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Following notification of his positive test, Harris provided USADA with information about a dietary supplement product he was using before and at the time of the relevant sample collection. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, analysis conducted on both the open and independently sourced, unopened containers of the product by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, indicated that the product contained LGD-4033.
The presence of an undisclosed prohibited substance in a product is regarded as contamination. Accordingly, the product has since been added to the list of high-risk supplements maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.Supplement411.org).
Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, the determination that an athlete’s positive test was caused by a contaminated product may result in a reduced sanction. Where contamination is established, the sanction for a doping offense involving a non-Specified Substance ranges from a reprimand and no period of ineligibility, at a minimum, to a two-year period of ineligibility, at a maximum.
CSAC announced a four-month suspension and $4,000 fine stemming from Harris’ December 29, 2018 sample CSAC collected. Taking into consideration the circumstances that resulted in Harris’ positive test and CSAC’s suspension and fine, USADA has determined that a four-month period of ineligibility is an appropriate sanction under the UFC ADP for his violation.
Harris’ four-month period of ineligibility began on December 29, 2018, the date his positive sample was collected. Under the rules, any decision concerning competition results is handled by the Commission and the UFC.
USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. In an effort to aid UFC athletes, as well as their support team members, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on the UFC Anti-Doping Program website (https://UFC.USADA.org) regarding 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 (https://UFC.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, and periodic athlete alerts. Many of the resources available to athletes are provided in multiple languages, including Russian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese.
Along with education and testing, robust anti-doping programs enable investigations stemming from tips and whistleblowers. 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 email at email@example.com, by phone at 1 877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253), or by mail.
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