25th November 2020

CAS Arbitrator Denies U.S. Triathlon Athlete Andrew Starykowicz’s Appeal Against TUE Decision

USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has denied the appeal of triathlon athlete Andrew Starykowicz, of Wauconda, Ill., challenging the decision of USADA’s independent TUE Committee (TUEC) to deny his request for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Starykowicz, 38, applied to USADA for a TUE for the beta-2 agonist vilanterol, prohibited at all times, on October 15, 2019. While his TUE application was pending, Starykowicz competed in an IRONMAN® triathlon in Panama City, Florida on November 2, 2019. Starykowicz submitted an in-competition urine sample at the event, which later tested positive for vilanterol.

Starykowicz’s TUE application was thoroughly reviewed by a USADA TUEC panel of three medical experts based on the World Anti-Doping Agency International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE). USADA’s TUEC unanimously determined that the alleged medical need and proposed treatment with vilanterol did not meet the ISTUE criteria. Following this review, the TUEC denied the TUE application for vilanterol on November 8, 2019. The athlete then requested a medical review, which was completed by a fourth USADA TUEC member, and that review confirmed the TUE denial. On February 4, 2020, Starykowicz requested review by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) TUEC, and on March 6, 2020, the WADA TUEC concluded that the USADA TUEC decision should be upheld.

CAS Decision

The athlete subsequently appealed USADA TUEC’s decision to CAS, and a hearing was held on June 24, 2020. USADA defended its TUEC’s decision, noting that Starykowicz failed to establish that there were no permitted therapeutic alternatives to using an inhaler containing vilanterol, as required under the ISTUE. Based on the evidence presented, the CAS arbitrator upheld the USADA TUEC’s decision to deny Starykowicz’s TUE, agreeing that the athlete “has not discharged the burden he had to prove, on balance, that the existing alternative therapies . . . are not reasonable.” The CAS award, as well as other arbitral decisions, can be found here.

With the conclusion of the TUE appeal, the IRONMAN Anti-Doping Program proceeded with its case against Starykowicz related to his positive test on November 2, 2019 and announced an anti-doping rule violation and sanction in accordance with its rules. That announcement can be found here.

• This media release was published by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on 25 November 2020. Click here for the original.

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