News 30th April 2021

USADA disputes ten substance cyclist’s statement

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has disputed aspects of a statement issued by a 52 year old cyclist sanctioned with a four year ban for an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) involving ten prohibited substances (pictured). In a statement given to PinkBike, Vahe Aivazian argued that under USA Cycling rules, he faced the choice of either accepting his sanction, or travelling to Norway for an arbitration hearing, which was ‘not an option’ because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

‘This is false’, wrote a USADA spokesperson in an email. ‘By rule, hearings are held in the US and currently due to the pandemic, all hearings are being held virtually’.

USADA did corroborate that Aivazian’s case was non-analytical, as also highlighted in his statement. In other words, he didn’t ‘test positive’ for the ten prohibited substances, but they were found in his possession. However it dismissed his suggestion that it ‘never provided proof’ of his purchase of the substances or his use of them.

‘USADA had evidence that Mr. Aivazian possessed and used the 10 prohibited substances and provided Mr. Aivazian the evidence in USADA’s possession’, wrote the USADA spokesperson. ‘In addition, Mr. Aivazian admitted to the violations’.  

USADA also dismissed Aivazian’s suggestion that his ADRV may have been due to supplement use. ‘Mr. Aivazian’s violations were due to his possession and use of prohibited substances that were individually labeled as the prohibited substance or a brand name for the prohibited substance’, wrote the spokesperson.

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