Paralympic star who took her PSA medication after sharing a syringe with her dying pet has been cleared of doping – and can compete in Paris 2024

The three-time Paralympic gold medalist can compete in the 2024 Paris Games after being cleared by US Anti-Doping for a banned substance.

On November 1, 2023, Roderick Townsend tested positive for capromorelin, a growth hormone stimulant that is banned under USADA Olympic and Paralympic movement testing protocol under all circumstances.

But upon investigation, it turned out that all was not as it seemed, and Townsend provided an abnormal sample through no fault of his own.

A USADA investigation into Townsend found that the athlete had been giving his dog, who had since passed, a specific medication that contained capromorelin.

Townsend, who suffered permanent nerve damage to his right arm and shoulder at birth, gave evidence of a prescription liquid pet medication that contained the substance as he tried to stabilize his dog’s ailing weight.

US Paralympic star Roderick Thompson has been cleared to compete at Paris 2024

Thompson’s dog Winnie, pictured on his Instagram page in a February 2021 post

USADA released a statement clearing his name and explaining why he returned an adverse result in an out-of-competition test for a growth hormone stimulant in November 2023.

The drug was given to the dog orally by syringe in the last weeks of its life, before Townsend kept the syringe, which had traces of the drug.

The track and field star, who won gold in the high jump at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, would use the syringe himself to measure and ingest a liquid vitamin D supplement recommended by his nutritionist.

He was not aware of the potential residue of the dog medication used in the syringe before.

«With increased detection and investigative capabilities, it is our responsibility to ensure that we protect innocent athletes while holding intentional cheaters accountable,» USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement.

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«WADA rules require the disclosure of such findings without qualms in order to remain in compliance with the rules.»

Thompson wasn’t to blame, his dog’s drug traces were behind the result

«We will continue to vigorously advocate to WADA that athletes should not be accused of a violation or subject to public scrutiny when they inadvertently come into contact with a Prohibited Substance and it has no effect on performance.»

Townsend has limited range of motion and the muscles in his right arm are not fully developed after the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck during birth. He fought with able-bodied athletes until the age of 15, when he was reclassified as a Paralympic athlete.

He has now been cleared and will not face any punishment or banning period, meaning he can push for the Paralympics this summer.

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