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USADA bans masters track cycling champion for contaminated supplement

The entrance to the anti-doping vehicle at the Tour de France
The entrance to the anti-doping vehicle at the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Friday it has banned the 2021 Masters National Champion Brian Abers for one year after he tested positive for a drug that has not yet been approved for use in the country.

The 56-year-old won the kilometre time trial on September 16, 2021, at the USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships in the 55-59 age group and submitted to an anti-doping control after the race. The sample came back positive for ibutamoren, also known as MK-622.

Ibutamoren is an investigational drug developed by Lumos Pharma and Merck that acts to enhance the production of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor I, which increases lean body mass.

Abers was able to show that he had taken a dietary supplement that did not list ibutamoren on the label but an analysis by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, showed that it contained the banned substance.

"The presence of an undisclosed prohibited substance in a product is regarded as contamination and the determination that an athlete’s positive test was caused by a contaminated product may result in a reduced sanction, as was the case here," the USADA press release stated. "If athletes choose to use supplements despite the known risks, USADA has always recommended that athletes use only dietary supplements that have been certified by a third-party program that tests for substances prohibited in sport. USADA currently recognizes NSF Certified for Sport® as the program best suited for athletes to reduce the risk from supplements."

Abers was stripped of his title and all results after September 16, 2021, and is ineligible to compete until October 5, 2022.

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