American racer Danny Summerhill has been suspended by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for failing to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and race in 2021 while using antidepressants and the ADD medication, Adderall.
In a heartfelt Instagram post, (opens in new tab)the Coloradan explains that he’d been making his way back into racing with the Best Buddies team after a burnout, which saw him take a break from competitive cycling for nearly a year.
As a guest rider in 2021, he racked up a decent amount of races with podium finishes at criteriums throughout the country, including the Central Park and Modern Market criteriums in Colorado, the Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium in Georgia, and the Birmingham Hammerfest in Alabama.
After his win in Alabama, the crit racer was tested by USADA and the test came back positive.
Summerhill reveals that he was first diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in his childhood but refrained from medication due to “how stigmatized it is in professional sports”.
But the last couple of years were hard on the 33-year-old. Between the pandemic, feeling burnt out, managing his own company and caring for a disabled parent, Summerhill felt overwhelmed and sought help from medical professionals.
Under their professional guidance, Summerhill started taking antidepressants as well as Adderall, an ADD medication.
However, he failed to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption for the use of those medications in competition.
“Because I was a guest rider, I thought I was only going to be invited to a handful of races,” Summerhill explains.
“Prior to reentering the sport, I never thought to submit an application with USADA for permission to use my new medication and get a Therapeutic Use Exemption. I am a human (and a forgetful human with ADD at that) and I made a mistake.”
While he has since obtained a TUE, Summerhill was given a one-year suspension for his neglect. The suspension started in September of last year, and he’ll be allowed to reenter competition in September of this year.
In the meantime, Summerhill called on the cycling community to “have compassion for your own mental health struggles” and to stay safe.
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