Two-Time Bahamian Olympian Joanna Evans Receives Two-Year Doping Ban

Joanna Evans, a two-time Bahamian Olympian and former member of the Texas Longhorns, has received a two-year doping suspension from World Aquatics.

Evans’ suspension stems from a positive test for Clostebol, conducted out-of-competition on Dec. 3, 2021, shortly after she finished competing in the third season of the International Swimming League (ISL).

Evans’ suspension is retroactive to Feb. 14, 2022—the date she was notified of the positive test—and will be ineligible to compete through Feb. 14, 2024.

Clostebol is a banned substance considered to be a weak anabolic androgenic steroid on its own. However, it was used as one ingredient of oral turinabol, a staple of the East German state-sponsored doping program back in the 1970s and 1980s.

According to World Aquatics’ document outlining the suspension, Evans says she bought the cream “Trofodermin” to treat a cut on her finger in September 2021 while competing in the ISL in Naples, Italy.

With a language barrier intact, Evans said she expected to receive a “Neosporin-like cream” and applied it topically for three days to treat the injured figure and then from late October to the end of November to treat an abrasion on her knee incurred after returning to the United States.

Evans said she was unaware the cream contained the banned substance and didn’t knowingly take it to improve her performance.

In June 2022, the International Testing Agency (ITA) told Evans that it believed her actions warranted a four-year suspension, though it offered a three-year ban if she accepted within three weeks. Evans refused and requested a hearing with the FINA Doping Panel.

After much deliberation, the FINA Doping Panel ultimately ruled that Evans didn’t knowingly take a banned substance, but was “significantly negligent” in adhering to anti-doping protocols, resulting in the two-year sentence. This negligence included Evans failing to check for a “doping” warning that was on the box of the cream.

Evans competed in six events after initially purchasing the cream—five ISL matches and the 2021 Short Course World Championships—all of which will see her results be disqualified.

Clostebol was also the substance Brazilian swimmer Gabriel Santos tested positive for back in 2019, though his suspension was ultimately lifted after he appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

A number of other high-profile athletes have been suspended for Clostebol in the past, including San Diego Padres baseball player Fernando Tatis Jr. last year.

Evans, 25, represented the Bahamas at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, placing as high as 13th in the women’s 400 free, and then served as one of the country’s flagbearers five years later in Tokyo, matching her finish in the 400 free while also placing 18th in the 200 free.

Evans competed for the University of Texas from 2015 to 2019, finishing her career as a three-time All-American and 11-time Big 12 champion. Her best individual performance at the Women’s NCAA Championships came in 2017, when she took seventh in the 1650 free and 12th in the 200 free.

Evans also won two medals at the 2017 World University Games in Taipei, was the bronze medalist in the 800 free at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, and swept the women’s 200, 400 and 800 free at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.

After her performances in Tokyo, SC Worlds and during the ISL season, SwimSwam named her the 2021 Central American & Caribbean Female Swimmer of the Year.

Given the ISL’s zero-tolerance policy as it relates to doping, Evans would be ineligible to return to the league should it resume competition. Evans’ lone season in the ISL came in 2021 for the DC Trident.

Her last competition on record is the 2021 Short Course Worlds in Abu Dhabi, where she placed seventh in the women’s 400 free and eighth in the 200 free.

Evans has taken part in an anti-doping campaign organized by Bahamas Aquatics, “Clean Swim, Clean Win,” in the past.

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ElvisVB
10 months ago

FINA always makes an example of the small guy but the medalists get away with murder

-_-
Reply to  ElvisVB
10 months ago

which medalists? how do you know?

Steve Nolan
Reply to  -_-
10 months ago

Name a medalist that’s been suspended for it.

It’s always just fringe semifinalists at most.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Steve Nolan
10 months ago

Sun Yang, Connor Dwyer.

beachmouse
10 months ago

Sounds similar to the Fred Bousquet case from a while back. Note to athletes in an anti-doping testing pool- stay the heck out of Italian pharmacies.

Swimz
10 months ago

The texas tradition continues

Carly
10 months ago

So much for saying no to doping
https://fb.watch/j-ZpK5QK7t/?mibextid=YCRy0i

Marie
Reply to  Carly
10 months ago

The FINA Doping Panel ultimately ruled that she didn’t knowingly take a banned substance. It’s a topical cream. She wasn’t doping so your comment is ignorant.

Observing
Reply to  Carly
10 months ago

Who pooped in your cheerios?

Timekeeper
10 months ago

That contaminated Lady Bird Lake Texas tap water stay in you for life

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Timekeeper
10 months ago

3rd Texas swimmer with a doping violation/ban in the last 4 years?

Sherry Smit
10 months ago

Okay that’s overkill. Sorry boo but like unless she’s purposely taking something to inhance her performance, she should not be banned.

Dan
Reply to  Sherry Smit
10 months ago

From article:

“After much deliberation, the FINA Doping Panel ultimately ruled that Evans didn’t knowingly take a banned substance, but was “significantly negligent” in adhering to anti-doping protocols, resulting in the two-year sentence. This negligence included Evans failing to check for a “doping” warning that was on the box of the cream.”

Taa
Reply to  Dan
10 months ago

reading is hard

DMSWIM
Reply to  Sherry Smit
10 months ago

But also there was a doping warning on the box…

Lynne
Reply to  DMSWIM
10 months ago

That was written in another language. Unfortunate situation.

Snarky
Reply to  Lynne
10 months ago

Hey (Italian friend on team) can you read this for me? Is there a doping warning? Not that hard.

Beach
Reply to  Sherry Smit
10 months ago

Does anyone admit they r taking a substance to improve performance.
If all you had to do was deny then no one would ever be banned right?

Observing
10 months ago

Incredible the way WADA deals with doping bans. A 4 year ban for a topical cream? And threatening with deadlines? A lesser sentence to admit it within a time frame? This organization is a joke

In June 2022, the International Testing Agency (ITA) told Evans that it believed her actions warranted a four-year suspension, though it offered a three-year ban if she accepted within three weeks.”

Snarky
Reply to  Observing
10 months ago

She failed a drug test with a known anabolic steroid because she didn’t read the label 🏷️ or ask questions. That’s a doping violation. Period. WADA applies the rules to negligent failures too. Be smarter athletes.

Last edited 10 months ago by Snarky
Observing
Reply to  Snarky
10 months ago

A 4 year ban for a topical cream that may or may not give you an advantage is a joke. Sun got a 4 year ban for breaking a vial/not allowing them to do their job. If this athlete deserves a 4 year ban then Sun should have everything he’s ever done stripped and never allowed to compete again. I also never said she shouldn’t be penalized, I’m saying the way it’s handled is absurd. I don’t know a single person, regular or athlete, that questions every medicine given to them (not a great excuse, just a fact of young athletes)

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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