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Runner Who Blamed Burrito Won't Be in US Olympic Trials

US authorities do U-turn in Shelby Houlihan case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2021 7:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – US authorities, under pressure from world anti-doping authorities, have done a U-turn on allowing runner Shelby Houlihan to compete in Olympic trials starting Friday. USA Track and Field had initially said it would allow the 28-year-old, who blames a burrito for a positive anabolic steroids test, to compete for a spot on the team until all avenues of appeal had been exhausted, reports USA Today. US Olympic & Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland, however, said Thursday that the committee will abide by World Anti-Doping Agency rules that ban Houlihan from participating. Houlihan, who holds the US records for the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs, has been banned from competing for four years.

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The ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport this week. USATF CEO Max Siegel said Houlihan was taken off start lists after the Athletics Integrity Unit anti-doping body officially notified USATF of the suspension, the AP reports. "Process is important, particularly when individuals' careers and lives are at stake," Siegel said. Houlihan denies ever taking performance-enhancing substances and says the positive result must have come from pig offal in a burrito she ate 10 hours before the doping test, CNN reports. Her only chance of a reprieve in time for Olympic trials will be if Switzerland's top federal court fast-tracks the case and grants her relief, an outcome analysts consider highly unlikely. (Read more track and field stories.)

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