Bobsleigh athlete J.C. Cruse has been handed a 16-month ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which will rule him out of contention for a place at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.
The 28-year-old brakeman tested positive for the banned stimulant dimethylbutylamine (DMBA) at an International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) North American Cup event on January 12.
DMBA is a prohibited in-competition substance under USADA, the United States Olympic Committee national anti-doping policies and the IBSF anti-doping rules.
Cruse claimed the positive test had been due to the use of a “high risk dietary supplement”, with the reason having been accepted by USADA.
Analysis of the supplement confirmed that the supplement contained DMBA at levels consistent with the facts of the case, although the substance was not listed on the supplement facts label.
Another prohibited substance, methylhexaneamine, also known as 1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA), was listed.
USADA state they have offered past warnings and education about DMAA and DMBA in dietary supplements, while athletes have access to resources such as the high risk list.
They determined Cruse’s perceived level of risk and subsequent level of care was reduced due to never having been in the registered testing pool or having received formal anti-doping education.
As a result, he was handed a 16-month suspension by the organisation, with the sanction having been backdated to the time of the positive test.
With the sanction ruling Cruse out of competition until next May, the bobsleigh athlete will be unable to earn a place at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, which will take place in February.
He had been a member of the USA Bobsled and Skeleton development team during 2016.
Cruse had previously played basketball and American football, before turning his hand to bobsleigh.