American weightlifter Daniel Lehr has been banned for four years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), despite claiming he unknowingly took the banned substances which led to him testing positive.
Lehr failed an in-competition drugs test at the 2015 USA Weightlifting National Championships in Dallas as the sample he provided contained traces of Ostarine and Androstenedione, an anabolic steroid.
The 31-year-old, who finished in top spot in the 94 kilograms B division at the event in Texas, has had his ban reduced by three months due to his “prompt admission of the violation”.
His suspension has been backdated to August 15, the date he provided the sample, and he will be unable to return to sport until 2019.
“Lehr’s period of ineligibility began on August 15, 2015, the day his sample was collected,” a USADA statement read.
“In addition, Lehr has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 15, 2015, the date his samples was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.”
Lehr, the co-owner of fitness clothing brand Caffeine and Kilos, said he was “shocked” about the positive test and suggested it was because he had taken a tablet given to him by another athlete.
The other competitor insisted the pill was creatine, which is not a banned substance, Lehr claimed.
In a lengthy post on social networking site Reddit, Lehr wrote: “I contacted the athlete and asked the brand of creatine, so I could acquire a bottle (hopefully from the same lot number) to send in to USADA and to a third party laboratory for testing to see if it was tainted.
“As it turns out, it was not creatine, but is a supplement called 'Ostagenin Max' which comes in a yellow capsule."
Lehr added: “After looking it up, I found the supplement has 2 ingredients - 1. Ostarine and 2. A testosterone booster.
“My heart sank.
“It was at that moment I realised exactly what happened.
“I can unequivocally say that I have never taken that product prior, or since that one occasion.
“My test results show very low levels, which line up with the one pill, 6 hours prior to the test.
“I take full responsibility.
“As an athlete, I am responsible for everything that goes in my body.”
Lehr also claimed the weightlifter who had handed him the tablet “verified the occurrence with USADA but they did not accept it since he would not reveal his name and therefore implicate himself”.
“I cooperated fully with USADA, with the only point of contention being that I also would not give up the other athlete's identity," he wrote.
“That's not who I am.
“I will not drop names to try to get out of a situation that I am partially responsible for being in.
“I do not blame USADA, I do not blame the other athlete.”