Jamaican Swimmer Mackenzie Headley Reprimanded By Doping Panel For Two Positive Tests

Mackenzie Headley, a 16-year-old Jamaican swimmer, has received a public reprimand from an Independent Anti-Doping Panel (IADP) following two positive tests for banned substances last year.

Headley, who has predominantly trained and competed in the United States since 2016, submitted a positive sample in April 2022 at the CARIFTA Championships in Barbados, and she tested positive a second time from a sample collected in late June at the 2022 Caribbean Games in Guadeloupe.

Due to being a “protected person” under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, Headley won’t serve a period of ineligibility.

Her results from both the CARIFTA Championships and Caribbean Games have been disqualified. At the CARIFTA Championships she notably had four individual podium finishes, including winning the women’s 50 butterfly (27.79).

The panel said in a release that there was no significant negligence on the part of the athlete.

“The respondent was a minor at the time of in-competition testing on the 17th April 2022, during the 2022 Carifta Swimming and Open Water Championships held in Barbados. The athlete was subjected to an in-competition doping control test,” the IADP said, according to the Jamaica Observer.

“Analysis of her sample returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for the prohibited substances GW0742 – metabolites (sulfoxide and sulfone), GW501516 – metabolites sulfoxide and sulfone, and SARM LGD (ligandrol) – 4033 metabolite, which are prohibited by WADA at all times.”

The IADP said that Headley waived the testing of her ‘B’ sample and accepted the results, and on October 14, 2022, she was officially notified that she was provisionally suspended.

For her second positive test at the Caribbean Games, Headley returned an AAF for the substances GW1516 – metabolite (sulfone) non-specified, and GW1516 – metabolite (sulfoxide) non-specified.

Headley currently attends Suffield Academy in Connecticut and trains and competes with the Farmington Valley YMCA Tsunami club team in Granby, CT.

A sprint freestyle and breaststroke specialist, Headley was ranked 20th in our Way Too Early Rankings in the girls’ high school class of 2024 last year, and in June, she was featured in the “Best of the Rest” section in the next edition of the rankings.

According to her Instagram bio, she has committed to UNC for the fall of 2024.

Headley most recently competed at the YMCA Long Course National Championships in Greensboro, where she placed fourth in the 100 breast in a new lifetime best of 1:13.88, and she also took fourth in the 50 fly (27.72), fifth in the 50 free (26.41), and eighth in both the 100 free (58.76) and 100 fly (1:03.97).

In short course yards, she owns personal bests of 22.52 in the 50 free, 49.13 in the 100 free and 1:00.87 in the 100 breast.

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cant kick cant pull
4 months ago

Just a young kid – hope they get some good people around them and put this behind them.

Awsi Dooger
4 months ago

Everything about this is disturbing including that it wasn’t the same two substances both times. Two months later it’s similar but inexact. That could mean experimentation, toward what works best and also is less likely to show on a test.

She’s the same age as Summer yet swimming is looking away and UNC apparently has open arms.

The Original Tim
4 months ago

Cardarine and ligandrol are not something you accidentally take, it’s pretty absurd that IADP is effectively handwaving the consequences away by saying she was a minor when she took them.

Where does IADP fit in with WADA?

Air Quality at YMCA Pools
4 months ago

Um, doping is doping, no matter what age you are. Just because she is 16 doesn’t mean she shouldn’t serve a suspension.

4 months ago

Hate to see this. This will linger for the rest of her career

4 months ago

Hmm. Kinda sus if you ask me

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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