5 Jul 2016
In May 2016 the World Archery Federation (WA) has reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Canadian archer Jason Lyon after his A and B sample tested positive for the prohibited substance Oxilofrine in a low concentration.
After notification a provisional suspension was ordered. The Athlete filed a statement with evidence in his defence and he was heard for the WA Anti-Doping Panel. The Athlete accepted the test results, denied the intentional use of the substance and argued that he was tested before without issues.
The Athlete had conducted an investigation into the source of the positive test and established which food, supplements and medication he had used prior to the competition in Phoenix in April 2016 where he provided a sample for drug testing.
The Athlete asserted that certain oranges he had consumed could be the likely source of the Oxilofrine while he was unaware that these oranges might contain Oxilofrine. For analysis in a Laboratory the Athlete had purchased Satsuma oranges from a local Wal-Mart in Canada. These were the same oranges he had purchased from a Wal-Mart in Phoenix and consumed on the day of the competition.
Supported by an expert witness the Athlete demonstrated, with Lab analysis of these Satsuma oranges, the presence of Oxilofrine in a concentration to be consistent with the low concentrations found in his A and B samples. Analysis in this Lab of the supplements and medication he had used had revealed no prohibited substances.
On the other hand the expert witness of the Lausanne Lab was very skeptical regarding the Athlete’s claims of the presence of Oxilofrine in oranges since he was was unaware of any publication which addresses the question whether gas of liquid chromatography performed on fruits or vegetables has detected the presence of Oxilofrine.
Considering the test results the Anti-Doping Panel finds that the presence of the prohibited substance Oxilofrine had been established in the Athlete's samples and accordingly that he had committed an anti-doping rule violation.
In view of the pleadings and the testimony provided both by the Athlete himself and his expert witness, the Panel remains unpersuaded, based on the balance of probability, that the oranges purchased at a Wal-Mart, of which he alleges to have consumed up to six in the hours leading up to the competition and the sample collection, are the source of the Oxilofrine.
Considering the missing proof of purchase and chain of custody, the preponderance of scientific opinion that Oxilofrine is not a natural substance which develops organically in oranges and the misdirected and unsubstantiated testimony of the Athlete’s expert witness with regard to his laboratory methodology, the Panel is forced to conclude that the Athlete has not met his burden of proof regarding the source of the Oxilofrine. Consequently the Panel finds that the Athlete failed to establish that he bears No Significant Fault or Negligence.
The Panel finds no grounds to assume that the Athlete in consuming Oxilofrine acted intentionally in order to enhance his performance. This view is also shared by WA and a four year ban was not requested.
In addition the Panel holds that it has no reason to assume that the Athlete is a “cheater”. His excellent performance record and lack of any previous violations of the Rules over many years of competition speak for themselves.
Therefore the Anti-Doping Panel decides on 5 July 2016 to impose a 2 year period of ineligibility on the Athlete starting on the date of the provisional suspension, i.e. on 19 May 2016.