The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Monday (1 February) that US Paralympic and world medallist Blake Leeper has accepted a one year suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.
Leeper, 25, tested positive for benzoylecgonine from a sample collected on 21 June 2015 at the US Paralympic Track & Field National Championships. Benzoylecgonine is a metabolite of cocaine, a substance in the class of Stimulants prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Paralympic Committee Anti-Doping Code, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. It was determined that Leeper’s use of cocaine was not intended to enhance performance, and in consideration of other mitigating factors, he was deemed eligible for a reduced one-year sanction.
Leeper’s one-year period of ineligibility began on 21 June 2015, the date of his sample collection. In addition, Leeper has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to June 19, 2015, the date he first competed at the US Paralympics Track & Field National Championships, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programmes.