Olympic Boxer Virginia Fuchs Escapes Doping Ban As Substance Use Was Sexually Transmitted
US Olympic boxing hopeful Virginia Fuchs will face no punitive measures for failing a doping test, as the substances were transmitted through sex with her boyfriend.
Fuchs, who intends to qualify for next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympics as a flyweight, got snagged by an out-of-competition test in February this year. The doping violation was confirmed in March by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
However, in subsequent investigations, the organisation found Fuchs’ partner had been using therapeutic doses of banned substances, later concluding the levels found in her urine sample were consistent of recent exposure via sex.
After the USADA delivered a No Fault ruling, the 32-year-old world bronze medallist wrote on Twitter she was relieved. ‘This has been a huge lesson for me and now that is over, I’m fully focused on preparing for Tokyo,’ she added.
In an interview with Fox 26, Fuchs explained:
When I was first notified back in March when I had these prohibited substances in me, I was at complete shock and had no idea where they had come from, knowing I had never ingested anything.
But I’m just relieved that USADA saw my case very unique and gave me a no-fault and have cleared me… I had no idea you could get contaminated through intimate contact, and I’ve learned a lesson about this now. I want other athletes to learn from my mistake.
US Olympic softball player Bubba Nickles found herself in an identical situation after the USADA found banned substances in her urine sample; this was also later attributed to transmission through sexual intercourse with her partner.
USADA CEO Travis Tygart told the New York Post that while he regrets any unwarranted public attention as a result of the rulings, it’s a requirement in the World Anti-Doping Code that the agency announce any positive tests.
We strongly believe this case and others like it, including meat contamination and prescription medication contamination cases, should be considered no violation. We will continue to advocate for changes to the World Anti-Doping Code so that where there is no intent to cheat and no performance benefit, an athlete should not face any violation or unnecessary public attention.
Fuchs will be aiming for qualification later this year. Prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics, she was set to be the US team’s flyweight but just missed out on qualifying. Two qualifying tournaments for Tokyo’s games will be held later this year.
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New York Post