• Joseph Faulkner

Olympian Blames Burrito For Positive Test


American middle distance runner Shelby Houlihan has blamed her ban from athletics on a burrito.


Shelby was banned for four years after testing positive for an anabolic steroid nandrolone.


The 28-year-old athlete said it may have come from eating a pork burrito the night before her test, which she said could lead to a false positive for nandrolone.


She went ahead to deny ever using any banned substance to aid her performance.


"I feel completely devastated, lost, broken, angry, confused and betrayed by the very sport that I've loved and poured myself into," Houlihan said in a statement on social media.


"I want to be very clear. I have never taken any performance enhancing substances."


"I have since learned that it has long been understood by Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) that eating pork can lead to a false positive for nandrolone, since certain types of pigs produce it naturally in high amounts. Pig organ meat (offal) has the highest levels of nandrolone," she said.


"In the following five days after being notified, I put together a food log of everything that I consumed the week of that December 15th test.


"We concluded that the most likely explanation was a burrito purchased and consumed approximately 10 hours before that drug test from an authentic Mexican food truck that serves pig offal near my house in Beaverton, Oregon.


"I notified the AIU that I believed this was the source."


"I did everything I could to prove my innocence. I passed a polygraph test. I had my hair sampled by one of the world's foremost toxicologists.


"Wada agreed that test proved that there was no build up of this substance in my body, which there would have been if I were taking it regularly."


The four-year ban means Houlihan will miss both the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Games.

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