CrossFit Games Competitor Tests Positive for P.E.D.s, Stripped of Bronze Medal

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Ricky Garard, the third-place finisher at the 2017 CrossFit Games, has been disqualified from CrossFit-sanctioned events through 2021 and stripped of his bronze medal after testing positive for two banned substances, CrossFit Games general manager Justin Bergh announced Tuesday in a press release.

The 23-year-old Australian was found to have testolone and endurobol in his system at the time of competition. Both are part of banned classes of drugs in the CrossFit Games Rulebook.

Testolone, also known as RAD140, is an “investigational selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) for the treatment of conditions such as muscle wasting and breast cancer,” according to the American Chemical Society. Selective androgen receptor modulators are included on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited substances list under “other anabolic agents”. Testolone is not technically a steroid, but it acts to help the body absorb naturally produced testosterone without the side effects of anabolic steroids, according to an academic paper on its effects.

Endurobol, also known as GW501516, is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a “metabolic modulator”. Endurobol was originally created to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and was discovered to imnprove physical fitness in mice, but testing was later discontinued because it caused multiple kinds of cancer in rats.

Garard’s positive test was the first in the history of the CrossFit Games. The updated CrossFit Games standings for the 2017 competition now lists Mathew Fraser, Brent Fikowski, and Patrick Vellner as the top three competitors. In addition to losing his title, Garard will also lose the $76,000 he’d won for his finish, according to the CrossFit Games release.

CrossFit also disqualified two masters-level athletes—56-year-old Tony Turski and 52-year-old Josée Sarda—after they tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

“The CrossFit Games have never had a top individual athlete test positive for P.E.D.s until this case,” Bergh said. “Historically, the most frequent causes for a failed test have been masters athletes failing to read and accept our policy for hormone replacement in competition, and individual and team athletes using supplements containing banned substances not found on labels. Garard’s case does not appear to be accidental, and we take this result very seriously.”

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