Shelby Houlihan, the 28-year-old Olympic runner has been banned from the sport. Her disqualification comes soon after her test for anabolic steroids came out positive. Upon being barred from the sport for four years, Houlihan was devastated and said the results are connected with her eating a pork burrito.
According to the Athletic Integrity Unit, Shelby Houlihan tested positive for nandrolone. An anabolic steroid of testosterone, nandrolone is primarily used to increase the amount of fat-free muscle mass. Upon learning about the results of the test, Houlihan claimed to make a list of everything she consumed a week before the test.
After assessing what she had eaten in the prior week, Shelby Houlihan concluded that the nandrolone being observed was a result of the burrito “consumed approximately 10 hours before that drug test from an authentic Mexican food truck.”
The Olympic runner further added that the food chain offers pig offal and most pigs exhibit a high degree of the chemical detected in the test. Her assumption was based on a study conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which found an amount of nandrolone in meat and issued a warning about being diagnosed with a false positive.
With this ban imposed by the AIU, Shelby Houlihan will be unable to participate in the U.S Olympic Trials and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Houlihan said she had received an email from the AIU in January 2021, which contained the news of her December test showing positive for nandrolone. With reference to AIU’s email, the runner claimed to have read it over and over again, as the drug name had confused her severely.
After careful assessment of her dietary intake before the test, Shelby Houlihan had told AIU about the reasons accounting for her test result. However, she learned on June 11 that her explanation had not been accepted by the Court of Arbitration, subsequently resulting in her ban from sports.
Shelby Houlihan took to Instagram to express a plethora of feelings on learning about this recent development. AIU’s decision has not only left her “devastated and lost,” but also “betrayed by the sport” that has come to shape the course of her life.
The runner also reiterated that she had not taken any kind of drugs herself and made a myriad of different efforts to prove her innocence, which included getting her hair sampled and subjecting herself to a polygraph test.
According to her coach Jerry Schumacher, the organizations have adopted a biased attitude towards her and seem to be unwilling to change their decision, despite knowing about the issue with the pork and nandrolone.
CNN reached out to USA Track and WADA for comment on the pressing issue. The coach stated his belief in Houlihan’s innocence and called out the organizations who have unfairly taken away her hard-earned career in a split second.
Meanwhile, Shelby Houlihan’s lengthy Instagram post not only outlines her unparalleled passion for the sport but also contains her unwavering dedication to building her career. However, Houlihan’s passion for the sport has only intensified with time, and now, she is more enthusiastic to return to the field she loves deeply.