Shelby Houlihan is a former Olympic runner who trots middle-distance races, but she revealed on Monday night a backtracking she had to do to find a source for a recent positive test for an anabolic steroid.
She said her positive test ultimately resulted from a pork burrito she ate at a “Mexican food truck” in Oregon just hours before an out-of-competition test in December. She explained the burrito proposal during a call, which was rejected. Now she faces a four-year suspension.
Houlihan described her ordeal in an Instagram post Monday night.
“On January 14, 2021, I received an email from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), advising me that a drug test sample I provided on December 15 2020 came back as an Adverse Analytical Finding for an anabolic steroid called Nandrolone and therefore I am subject to an immediate Provisional Suspension,” Houlihan wrote.
The runner who finished 11th in the 1,500 meter race at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro said she had to read the email at least 10 times and then “search Google what I had just tested positive for.”
Houlihan said she traced his steps in a food diary and located him at a food truck where she received a burrito on the day of her test.
“Within 5 days of being notified, I kept a food diary of everything I consumed the week of this test on Dec. 15. We concluded that the most likely explanation was a purchased burrito and consumed about 10 hours before this drug test an authentic Mexican food truck that serves pork offal near my home in Beaverton, Oregon I informed the IAU that I thought it was the source,” she wrote.
The U.S. Olympic track and field team trials for the Tokyo Olympics begin next week in Eugene, Ore., and Houlihan is the U.S. record holder in the 1,500 and 5,000 meter races. A four-year ban could also prevent him from competing in the Paris Olympics in 2024, which means that if the suspensions are upheld, it will not allow him to qualify for the Olympics again before the Summer Games. of 2028 in Los Angeles.
Houlihan was devastated by the news.
“I feel completely devastated, lost, broken, angry, confused and betrayed by the very sport I loved and invested myself in just to see how good I was,” Houlihan said. “I want to be very clear: I have never taken performance-enhancing substances and that includes the one I have been accused of.
“I do this sport because I love it, I have so much fun doing it and it’s always the best part of my day,” Houlihan wrote. “This sport means everything to me. I believe doping and cheating are low. … I would never disrespect the sport, my competitors, my teammates, my coaches, my family and my fans in this way. I love sports too much.
What is nandrolone? According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, it is an anabolic steroid-like substance that may come from eating pork stuff.