Culture

U.S. sprinter Gil Roberts has kissing defence for doping ban upheld

She also mentioned the frequent and passionate kissing at the CAS hearing in NY.

Olympic champion sprinter Gil Roberts, who successfully argued a year ago that a doping violation had been the result of him "frequently and passionately" kissing his girlfriend, is free to compete following the failure of an appeal against that decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). That decision was? reversed in July 2017 by an arbitrator, who upheld the sprinter's defense that the drug was in his system due to frequent and passionate kissing of his girlfriend.

Regulators argued that the story was "implausible" - even as Roberts presented evidence of his girlfriend's last antibiotic capsule that she hadn't finished. The World Anti-Doping Agency appealed the removal of the suspension, but the Court of Arbitration found that it is more likely than not "that the presence of probenecid in the athlete's system resulted from kissing his girlfriend".

In March of 2017, Roberts was suspended by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testing positive for probenecid, a masking agent which could mask the presence of other banned substances in the body.

"There could have been tongue kissing, but it was more that she kissed me so soon after taking the medicine", Roberts said in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday.

Roberts, who took gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics on the men's 4x400 relay, tested positive for trace amounts of masking agent probenecid, and was banned for four years last May. Rarely do their claims prove persuasive.

Antidoping officials had appealed the primary decision that cleared Roberts last summer but testimony from Salazar ultimately aided his cause.

"I'm like, how can I be negligent for kissing my girl?" Roberts said, noting she had kept her sickness hidden at the time, for fear it might dampen his desire to spend time with her.

Salazar told the New York Times the ordeal has led to extra caution in their relationship.

Salazar, who spoke in her boyfriend's defense at the hearing, said she contracted the sinus infection during a vacation to India, where she visited a doctor who prescribed her the medicine.

The woman, ?Alex Salazar, continued to take the medicine when she returned to the USA, breaking the capsule apart and pouring its contents into her mouth before swallowing with water.

Initial concerns with how such a cross-contamination could have taken place as a result of "passionate kissing" if the ill-party was taking capsules?

Salazar's stepfather, who had accompanied her to procure the drug in what was described as semi-rural India, also testified, certifying he had in Hindi brokered the purchase of Moxylong - the antibiotic amoxicillin with traces of the prohibited probenecid.

'We weren't even embarrassed in the courtroom. It felt very technical.



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