Grace Ariola Tested Positive, But Found Without Fault By USADA

Texas freshman Grace Ariola has tested positive for a prohibited substance, per a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announcement.

During an out-of-competition test, 18-year-old Ariola tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide via urine sample she provided on June 19th of this year. Hydrochlorothiazide is banned due to its masking properties.

In its investigation, however, the USADA has deemed Ariola as without fault or negligence and the swimmer will not face a period of ineligibility as a result of her positive test. Ariola provided the USADA with records for a permitted oral prescription medication she was taking at the time of her positive test and, although the medication did not list hydrochlorothiazide on its list of ingredients, a detailed laboratory analysis confirmed trace contamination.

Travis T. Tygart, CEO of the USADA, said, “While the rules require this to be publicly announced, we strongly believe this case, and others like it, should be considered no violation. We will continue to advocate in the WADA Code review process that where no fault or negligence has occurred, an athlete should not face any violation or unnecessary public attention.”

Ariola’s case is the 2nd recent situation involving a Texas swimmer in 2018, with Madiysn Cox also having been falling victim to a hidden, unknown ingredient. In Cox’s case, her original 2-year suspension for testing positive for Trimetazidine was dropped down to 6 months after a WADA-accredited lab in Salt Lake City determined that 4 nanograms of the banned substance were present in both the opened and sealed bottles of Cooper Complete Elite Athletic multivitamin that Cox says she had been taking for seven years.

Since original publishing, Grace Ariola has contacted SwimSwam with her official statement, seen below:

Today it was announced that USADA issued a finding of “No Fault” in regards to an out of competition drug test that I provided on June 19, which tested positive for hydrocholorthiazide, a banned substance that is also a common blood pressure medication.
On Friday July 13th, I received an email from USADA notifying me that I had tested positive for the substance, which I had never heard of before. The email also informed me that I could get banned from the sport I love for two years. From that day forward, I began the terrifying process of finding a lawyer and fighting a positive drug test, just two weeks before the start of U.S. Nationals. I learned that the substance was banned because it is a diuretic and is considered a masking agent, but I had no idea where the positive test could have come from. I was using an inhaler for asthma, and was taking a generic antibiotic that had been prescribed for acne. I had used both medications while previously drug tested without issue, so I did not think they were the source. However, we sent my antibiotics to an independent lab for testing, and the lab confirmed that my medication, manufactured in a lab in India, was in fact contaminated with hydrochlorothiazide. This was later confirmed by USADA through their own testing as well.
To say it was a difficult summer is an understatement. The relief I felt on Tuesday receiving the official news of a “no fault” finding was unlike anything I’ve felt, as this experience has been one of the most challenging of my career thus far. I am excited to be able to move on from this and start a new chapter of my life at the University of Texas, and I am extremely grateful for the incredible support of my family, coaches and friends during this ordeal.

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2 years ago

in before the water jokes

2 years ago

Who’s next

2 years ago

Unfortunantely with the WADA accredited labs abilities to now test at such micro traces these cases of contamination are going to become more and more prevalent and innocent athletes will be caught in the crossfire.

Reply to  Swimcanada
2 years ago

Never mind, I re-read the article and missed that the trace was found in the prescription she was taking.

Reply to  micah
2 years ago

ooooo two user names in one thread, Braden’s gonna get ya!!

Reply to  DMacNCheez
2 years ago


About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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