The US Anti-Doping Agency announced today that Tom Danielson has agreed to a four-year ban from competition after testing positive for a prohibited substance, his second anti-doping violation.
Danielson's racing career has been in limbo since he left the 2015 Tour of Utah before the race started in August of that year, announcing on Twitter at the time that USADA had informed him that a sample taken during an out-of-competition test on July 9, 2015, returned a positive result for an anabolic agent. He was immediately released from the Cannondale-Garmin team.
USADA confirmed today that the sample in question tested positive for the presence of an "exogenous Androgenic Anabolic Steroid (AAS) and/or its metabolites" confirmed by Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) analysis.
"Danielson’s four-year period of ineligibility began on August 3, 2015, the date he accepted a provisional suspension," USADA’s statement read. “In addition, Danielson has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to July 9, 2015, the date his positive sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes."
Danielson did not race during that period, however.
The case was the American's second after he admitted to doping while on the US Postal Service Team as part of his testimony against Lance Armstrong, and was given a reduced ban by USADA. He could have faced a lifetime ban for a second offence.
Danielson has previously suggested that his positive test was consistent with DHEA supplement contamination. The resolution of Danielson's case was delayed until this fall after an arbitration panel granted his request for a postponement.
In a series of tweets in August of 2015, Danielson claimed that he did not take any banned substances since returning from his earlier ban.
"I would never ever take anything like this, especially after everything I have gone through the last years. This makes absolutely no sense," Danielson wrote at the time. “I will now, as I wait for the B test, have the supplements I take tested to see if this is what caused it."
USADA later confirmed that Danielson's B test had been tested and also returned a positive result.
"I feel incredibly hurt, frustrated and angry by this," Danielson wrote on Twitter. "I don't understand how or why this happened and still can't even accept this is true."
Danielson’s ban will end on August 3, 2019, when he will be 41 years old.