USADA bans rider after testing positive for 10 different prohibited substances

The athlete has accepted a four-year suspension

Doping products (Photo by Patrick Kovarik/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

The US Anti-Doping Agency has banned a rider after testing positive for 10 different prohibited substances.

Vahe Aivazian, 52, a masters racer from California, accepted a four-year suspension for the possession, use and/or attempted use of a number of banned drugs.

The full list of drugs includes three non-specified anabolic agents (testosterone, nandralone and DHEA), six non-specified peptide hormones, including hGH, as well as Anastrozole, a hormone and metabolic modulator.

Aivazian, who races downhill mountain bike events, chose to contest his case through arbitration up until the day before his hearing was due to begin when he decided to sign an acceptance of sanction form.

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The American is now banned for four years starting from April 7, 2021, and his results from June 16 2010 onwards have been scrubbed, along with the forced forfeiture of medals, points and prizes.

USADA says Aivazian was caught not just through testing, but also tip-offs from people within the sport.

Information helped USADA discover that Aivazian had purchased products containing five different prohibited substances, before receiving additional evidence in January and February 2021. Further investigation then revealed a total of 10 substances that Aivazian either possessed, used or had attempted to use.

"An essential part of an effective of an anti-doping program is to work closely with athletes, coaches, and others in sport and elsewhere who want clean and fair competition and to thoroughly investigate and act on credible evidence of doping violations," USADA CEO Travis Tygart said.

"It’s a team effort and we need those who value clean sport to stand up, as this case demonstrates the fight for clean sport is stronger when we work together to protect clean athletes."

USADA says its anti-doping programme relies on people offering up information concerning suspected doping, as well as testing.

It runs the 'Play Clean Tip Centre', which consists of a phone number, email address and physical postal address, with people with knowledge of doping encouraged to offer up information.

Jonny Long

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