The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) released a doping decision related to a boxer that could have ripple effects in other sports moving forward.
In an out-of-competition drug test taken in February of this year, American boxer Virginia Fuchs tested positive for letrozole metabolite bis-(4-cyanophenyl)methanol, as well as GW1516 (GW501516) metabolites, GW1516 sulfone, and GW1516 sulfoxide, which all appear on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s list of prohibited substances.
As revealed in its public release today, June 12, during the investigation into Fuchs’ case USADA determined that the substances detected in her sample were consistent with recent exposure to them via sexual transmission. Further, a WADA-accredited laboratory confirmed that products possessed by Fuchs’ partner contained therapeutic amounts of letrozole and GW1516.
As a result of these findings, Fuchs will not face a period of ineligibility for her positive test.
“While the World Anti-Doping Code requires that this no fault-finding be considered a violation and be publicly announced, we strongly believe this case and others like it, including meat contamination and prescription medication contamination cases, should be considered no violation,” said Travis Tygart, Chief Executive Officer of USADA. “We will continue to advocate for changes to the World Anti-Doping Code so that where there is no intent to cheat and no performance benefit, an athlete should not face any violation or unnecessary public attention.”
Fuchs won a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships in the Flyweight division, and also took silver at the 2019 an American Games.
Fuchs’ situation harkens back to Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber’s case from 2016. Barber was facing a 2-year suspension for having tested positive for cocaine but was able to convince authorities that he had come into contact with the substance via kissing a cocaine user. Australian swimmer Shayna Jack posited this as a defense of her own positive test after denying taking a banned substance. She has been unable to prove a source for contamination, and is currently awaiting an appeal to the CAS of a 4-year suspension.