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Sexually transmitted PEDs? USADA finds two athletes ‘not at fault’

This is getting weird.

Urine samples, 2000. Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

USADA tests athletes from various sports and organizations, including the UFC, and the anti-doping agency made a pair of peculiar announcements on Thursday.

According to USADA, two female athletes from boxing and softball have been found “not at fault” for testing positive for small traces of banned substances. The collections were made out-of-competition, and the boxer tested positive for “low amounts” of letrozole and GW1516 metabolites, while the softball player for a “low amount” of a ligandrol metabolite.

The announcement states that the results were due to their sexual partners using “therapeutic doses” of the said substances, and the levels found in the urine samples were consistent with recent exposure “via sexual transmission.”

Both athletes won’t be penalized. USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart also issued a statement stating that these types of “no fault finding” should be considered a “no violation” in WADA code, so isn’t needed to be made public anymore.

“While the World Anti-Doping Code requires that this no fault finding be considered a violation and be publicly announced, we strongly believe this case and others like it, including meat contamination and prescription medication contamination cases, should be considered no violation,” USADA’s Tygart said in the statement. “We will continue to advocate for changes to the World Anti-Doping Code so that where there is no intent to cheat and no performance benefit, an athlete should not face any violation or unnecessary public attention.”

Having those changes and better thresholds would indeed remove the likelihood of athletes’ reputations and careers being tarnished by these types of announcements.

This is something that Jeff Novitzky, the UFC Senior VP of Athlete Health and Performance, is in favor of. He spoke about the topic on social media, where he also linked to a previous study on how traces of pharmaceuticals can be transferred via sexual intercourse.