LaShawn Merritt Tests Positive, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

This story needs little commentary or introduction.  LaShawn Merritt has tested positive, three times for what a performance enhancing drug that drug experts note, "is not very effective." In what I believe is the first mea culpa of it's kind, Mr. Merrit claims that he used an over the counter male enhancement product, not knowing what secret ingredient did the enhancing. Moral of the story: Athletes must take the responsibility for what they ingest, pour on themselves, rub on themselves-you get the drift. In the end, Mr. Merritt will face an up to two year suspension for this purchase.

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La Shawn Merritt, Nike Pre Classic, June 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

L. Merritt positive

LOS ANGELES (USA): Olympic winner and world champion at 400 m LaShawn Merritt tested positive three times on male enhancement product which contained DHEA and pregnenolone. It was in October and December 2009 and in January 2010. He was informed about the positive tests in March. He was not competing in the indoor season. It is according of a release by his lawyer Howard Jacobs and published at www.trackandfieldnews.com. Merritt accepted provisional suspension, the product which contained the prohibited substances was a over-the-counter one. His use of this product was completely unrelated to athletics, and occurred at a time that he was neither seriously training nor competing.  His voluntary acceptance of a provisional suspension means that he has chosen not to compete until the case has been decided. In the interim, he will continue to train hard and take classes towards his degree requirements.

Dr. Gary Wadler, chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list and methods sub-committee, told the Orlando Sentinel that DHEA is "not very effective" as a performance enhancer.

USATF CEO Doug Logan said that this positive result taints all of Merritt's considerable past accomplishments and those he may have moving forward. Merritt is facing two years suspension which could mean he will miss 2011 World Championships but as soon his possible ban will start so soon he can be back possibly for US Olympic Trials 2012.


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