US Olympic swimmer Dwyer suspended 20 months for doping

US Olympic swimmer Dwyer suspended 20 months for doping

US Olympic swimmer Conor Dwyer has received a 20-month ban for doping after abitrators found he had
US Olympic swimmer Conor Dwyer has received a 20-month ban for doping after abitrators found he had testosterone pellets inserted in his body in 2018 AFP/Joe Scarnici

LOS ANGELES: US swimmer Conor Dwyer, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has been suspended 20 months for doping after an arbitration panel found he had testosterone pellets inserted in his body, the US Anti-Doping Agency said Friday (Oct 11).

USADA had sought a four-year ban after Dwyer tested positive in out-of-competition tests collected on Nov 15, Nov 27 and Dec 20 of 2018.

But an independent three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association ruled a 20-month suspension was appropriate in light of the fact that Dwyer relied on outside medical advice when he allowed the treatment, in which the pellets are inserted under the skin near the hip.

According the arbitrators, Dwyer "thought of it more as a treatment relating to his mental health, and unrelated to his physical performance in sport, in the way it was presented to him."

The suspension of Dwyer, who won relay gold medals at the 2010 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio games and 200m freestyle bronze in Rio, is dated from Dec 21, 2018, the date his provisional suspension was imposed pending arbitration.

He withdrew from the 2019 US World Championships team, and he will not be eligible to swim at the 2020 US Olympic trials before his suspension ends in August of next year.

USADA said Dwyer's urine samples showed the presence of prohibited anabolic agents of external origin.

In giving him only a 20-month suspension, arbitrators found that Dwyer stressed to his "life coach" adviser and a doctor he recommended that any treatment must not violate anti-doping rules and after cursory research they told him it did not.

"Whether Respondent's misguided belief was appropriate for an experienced Olympian with extensive anti-doping education, as argued by USADA, is not the standard to be applied with respect to this question," the arbitration panel wrote.

"The Panel notes that Respondent did inquire, as was his duty. He was credible in his testimony that he believed what he was told."

Neither Dwyer nor his advisers contacted USADA, which runs a hot-line for athletes with questions about drugs and supplements.

"It's frustrating that Mr. Dwyer did not take advantage of this support and hopefully this case will convince others to do so in order to protect fair and healthy competition for all athletes," Tygart said.

Source: AFP/nh

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