Two-year doping ban for U.S. athlete

Published Feb 2, 2012


London – An American athlete has been handed a two-year ban by Britain's anti-doping agency after testing positive at the Scottish Highland Games last year.

UK Anti-Doping said amateur athlete Sam Grammer, of Norwalk, Connecticut, tested positive for three banned substances at the event in Loch Lomond on July 16.

His application for a retrospective therapeutic use exemption was rejected, although the UKAD accepted that Grammer did not intend to enhance his performance and the substances were present in medication prescribed by his doctor.

Grammer competed in caber-tossing and hammer-throwing events at the games.

UKAD says Grammer is banned from competing in then Highland Games, or any professional league or international or national-level event, until August 27, 2013.

Grammer told a UKAD hearing that he had never undergone a doping test and had received no education in anti-doping rules.

“The athlete was adamant that there was no discussion at all about the components of the medication and no discussion at all about the components of the medication and no discussion at all about prohibited substances,” a UKAD tribunal said.

The tribunal, however, said Grammer failed to take full responsibility for what he ingested or ensure the medical treatment he received didn't infringe competition rules.

“It is ... clear that the athlete made no inquiries whatsoever as to what substances were contained on the prohibited list,” UKAD said.

“We do not accept that ignorance of the rules can properly amount to either a defense to an anti-doping rule violation or form the basis for mitigation.” – Sapa-AP

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