Kensey McMahon Offered Entry Into Enhanced Games After Doping Suspension

Suspended American distance swimmer Kensey McMahon has been offered entry into the Enhanced Games following news of her four-year competition ban coming down on Tuesday.

The Enhanced Games, a controversial multi-sport event that won’t subject athletes to drug testing, sent out a post Wednesday morning inviting McMahon to compete.

The 24-year-old McMahon received a four-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after she tested positive for the banned substance vadadustat last year. McMahon’s positive test came on July 1, during the 2023 U.S. National Championships and the same day that she finished 3rd in the women’s 1500 free in a personal best time.

Vadadustat is a non-specified substance in the category of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics and is prohibited under the USADA, U.S. Olympic Committee and World Aquatics doping control rules. It wasn’t approved for medical use in the United States until March 2024, eight months after McMahon’s positive test.

The Enhanced Games first came into the public sphere last summer and are financially supported by billionaire Peter Thiel and planned to be held in 2025.

Retired Australian freestyler James Magnussen, a thee-time world champion and three-time Olympic medalist, has largely been the public face of the Enhanced Games. In February, he said he would “juice to the gills” at the event to try and break the world record in the men’s 50 freestyle.

The Enhanced Games have come under heavy scrutiny for promoting the use of performance-enhancing drugs, with many national organizations and sports federations calling it irresponsible, farcical, and as USADA CEO Travis Tygart said, “a dangerous clown show, not real sport.”

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Swimmin’ in the south
1 month ago

One final take: you guys at Bama are juicing up and you’re still not any good?

Bob
Reply to  Swimmin’ in the south
1 month ago

Correct, that’s how good Margo is.

Seth
1 month ago

I wonder if McMahon can testify the contamination came from a sketchy restaurant like a recent case?

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Seth
1 month ago

Why not, it has worked. The refugees that recently got banned for the exact same drugs as the Chinese should have used that excuse.

Admin
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 month ago

Does require buy-in from the relevant anti-doping authorities, and in the case of the refugees those anti-doping authorities don’t have a nationalistic reason to side with the refugees.

Bob
Reply to  Seth
1 month ago

You’d have to be really sketchy to have a substance not even on the us market.

tea rex
1 month ago

This kind of opportunism is why sports fans hate the Enhanced Games. They don’t exist in a vacuum, and financial incentives to dope will make “regular” sports dirtier. Why? Because if you get caught cheating, your career isn’t over – you just move over into the doped league. If you play your cards right and get a good publicist, you could even make more money than someone who played it clean all along.

Admin
Reply to  tea rex
1 month ago

I agree. The Enhanced Games can’t exist without the Olympics, IMO. If the Enhanced Games became the primary mode of sport, then they would eventually just become like the regular games. Eventually a 45 in the LCM 100 free would just become “ho hum”.

The only thing that is going to make the swims impactful is comparing them to what the allegedly non-enhanced swimmers are going to do.

The juiciest thing that could come out of it is if the Enhanced Games swimmers don’t break the World Records 👀.

SCoach
1 month ago

Does this mean a resurgence of the old Jaked full body super suits is on the horizon?

Gheko
1 month ago

Rewarding people for doping now?

Swimmparent
Reply to  Gheko
1 month ago

The whole point of this league is allowing PEDs. Thats why it’s called the enhanced games. Everyone is expected to be doping and the winner is supposed to be the best doper

Sapiens Ursus
1 month ago

I’ll emphasize once again:

If you aren’t a little bit skeptical that the very best human phyaical specimens may have taken performance enhanxing substances to boost their performance you’re simply ignorant of what has long been the reality of modern sport or really just modern culture in general. We celebrate our knowledge of how pharmecology effects physiology in medicine, yet indulge a fantasy that arbitraily imposed moral standards about when what and who gets take the substances we know of actually influences human behavior all that much. It really doesn’t, prohibition doesn’t stop recreational drug use, and it doesn’t stop athletes seeking the limits of human performance. We medicate people to maximize workplace productivity. We medicate soilders. We have… Read more »

Italian Fan
1 month ago

It’s not an offer, it’s a stab in the back when you think about it.

Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

The Enhanced Games already exists its called the Olympic Games 😈💪💉🧪💊💪😈

Tanner
Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

The average person would lose their minds if they knew how much professional athletes are already juicing lol.

Derp
Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

Well yes enhanced for every other country . Us patriotic muricans are all natural not a single cheater for that is thy will of god!!

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Derp
1 month ago

Actually the country with 20+ positives that got to complete is the god, no punishment whatsoever.

snailSpace
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 month ago

For all your criticism of whataboutism, what you are doing during this scandal looks suspicously like whataboutism too. We get it, the Chinese scandal is also bad.
It’s also worth noting that although only one athlete got caught this time, the nature of the case implies a network/club-level d*ping – it decidedly does not look like an isolated case. Cheating in the US will never be state-sanctioned (although technically that hasn’t been proven of the Chinese case either), but it doesn’t mean that it can’t exist there as a part of the structure.

Dman
Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

And also Tour de France

snailSpace
Reply to  Dman
1 month ago

Thanks to the Armstrong scandal pro cycling has the most rigorous dr*g testing and anti d*ping measures out of all sports. At this point it’s estimated that the only reliable way to d*pe as a pro cyclist nowadays is by abusing TUEs (which happens of course, but it’s really really not specific to cycling).

DMSWIM
Reply to  snailSpace
1 month ago

Just write the words “drug” and “doping.” No one cares.

snailSpace
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

It gets moderated, so no, I won’t.

Troyy
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

Comments with those words get stuck in the spam filter for manual approval which can take hours.

Beginner Swimmer at 25
Reply to  snailSpace
1 month ago

What world are you living in if you think cycling is even 1% clean 😂

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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