Sprinter Debbie Dunn Tests Positive for Steroids, Quits Olympic Team

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American sprinter Debbie Dunn tested positive for anabolic steroids during an anti-doping test administered at the United States Olympic Trials in Eugene (Oregon) on June 24, 2012. Dunn recorded an elevated testosterone:epitestosterone ratio (T:E ratio) that exceeded the 4:1 ratio allowed under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. An elevated T:E ratio is a putative indicator of exogenous testosterone use.

Dunn voluntarily released the news of an adverse analytical finding reported to her by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in the “A” sample collected at the Olympic Trials. USADA doesn’t public release the results until it confirms a positive testosterone test with analysis of the “B” sample and carbon isotope ratio (CIR) testing. However, Dunn made the finding public so that she could remove herself from the U.S. Olympic Team prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London later this month. Dunn was expected to participate as a member of the 1600 meter relay team.

“I do not want any issue like this to distract from my teammates’ focus for the biggest meet of their lives,” said Dunn. “I wish Team USA best in London as I work toward resolving this matter.”

Travis Tygart, the Chief Executive Officer of USADA, released a statement applauding Dunn for withdrawing from the Olympics after being faced with a potential steroid ban.

USADA has come under scrutiny recently for violating athlete rights after Lance Armstrong filed a lawsuit against the agency last week. Tygart did not miss an opportunity to reiterate how “legal” and “fair” the process was for athletes such as Dunn.

“As in all cases, all athletes are innocent until and unless proven otherwise through the established full, fair legal process which was approved by athletes, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and all Olympic sports organizations,” said Tygart.

The fairness and legality of USADA’s process will ultimately be determined in court.

In the meantime, Dunn promised to work with USADA to resolve the matter of the steroid positive.

Photo credit: Erik van Leeuwen, attribution: Erik van Leeuwen (bron: Wikipedia).


Associated Press. (July 13, 2012). Debbie Dunn withdraws from Games. Retrieved from http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/trackandfield/story/_/id/8163890/2012-olympics-sprinter-debbie-dunn-withdraws-testing-positive-excessive-testosterone