The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has banned American cyclocross racer, Katie Compton, for four years after she tested positive for anabolic steroids in an out-of-competition test.
Compton, who is 42-years-old, accepted the ban of which she has technically already served a year due to the ban starting from the day of the test, September 16, 2020. She has also been disqualified from all her race results since that time.
She was set to retire after the World Championships in Arkansas in January of 2022 but now she will end her career on a low with her ban being too long for her to think about returning to racing.
Compton released a statement saying: "This news comes with great heartache and sadness, and it is the worst possible way to end my cycling career.
"I need to preface this news with the fact that I have always been a clean athlete, and I am proud of how much I have accomplished racing clean and being very careful with whatever I put into my body, especially after dealing with so many health issues throughout my life."
According to the USADA, a Carbon Isotope Ratio test was used in testing Compton's sample. The test can distinguish between naturally occurring and artificial anabolic agents of an external origin.
Despite accepting the ban from USADA Compton said that she has raced clean and has never doped in her career.
Compton said: "I provided a sample for USADA in September 2020 that came back negative for any banned substances, it was not even atypical. That news was communicated to me in the same way it has always been via a letter from USADA. I've received that same letter after every test I've submitted for the last 19 years.
"In early February of 2021, after returning from a difficult race season, I learned that the same sample from September was re-analyzed due to a bio-passport irregularity and found to be positive for an exogenous anabolic steroid.
"This was devastating news to me as I have never intentionally or knowingly put anything like that into my body. I know how delicate women's hormones are, and I would never choose to take anything to jeopardize my health and, as a result, suffer irreparable damage to my endocrine system. And not only that, I never took anything for ethical and moral reasons; I've been a strong proponent of clean sport my entire career and feel doing anything to enhance one's own natural ability is cheating, full stop."
Compton went on to stress that she wanted to defend her reputation despite now retiring from the sport and has hired a lawyer to help investigate and to prove that she did not knowingly take any banned substances.
Compton has been a vocal critic of other riders who have tested positive in the past, last year criticising the ban length of Denise Betsema in an interview with Cycling Weekly after the Dutchwoman was banned for six months during the cyclocross off-season.
“I don’t think [the ban] is enough,” Compton said. “It should be a minimum of 12 months and not during the off-season.
“If riders don’t suffer any ramifications for knowingly or unknowingly ingesting banned substances, why would they take extra precautions to avoid a tainted supplement?”
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