June 16, 2021 — One among America’s prime runners says consuming a pork burrito in all probability induced a constructive steroid check that resulted in her being banned from competing within the U.S. Olympic trials.

Shelby Houlihan, 28, competed for the U.S. within the 2016 summer season video games and holds American data for the 1,500- and 5,000-meter races. She was a favourite to win a medal at this yr’s summer season video games in Tokyo.

In an Instagram publish, she mentioned she realized Monday that the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport had upheld her 4-year suspension.

“I really feel fully devastated, misplaced, damaged, indignant, confused and betrayed by the very sport that I’ve cherished and poured myself into simply to see how good I used to be,” she mentioned within the publish. “I need to be very clear. I’ve by no means taken any efficiency enhancing substances. And that features that of which I’m being accused.”

Houlihan mentioned she acquired an electronic mail in January from the Athletics Integrity Unit informing her {that a} Dec. 15, 2020, drug check got here again constructive for nandrolone. 

The Nationwide Institutes of Well being says nandrolone is an anabolic steroid analog of testosterone that may enhance nitrogen retention and fat-free muscle mass.

She mentioned she made a log of the whole lot she’d eaten throughout that point.

“We concluded that the most probably clarification was a burrito bought and consumed roughly 10 hours earlier than that drug check from an genuine Mexican meals truck that serves pig offal close to my home in Beaverton, Oregon,” she wrote.

“I’ve since realized that it has lengthy been understood by WADA (World Anti-Doping Company) that consuming pork can result in a false constructive for nandrolone, since sure varieties of pigs produce it naturally in excessive quantities. Pig organ meat (offal) has the best ranges of nandrolone,” she continued.

Houlihan appealed the suspension and mentioned she went as far as to take a polygraph check and have her hair sampled for proof of steroids, however the enchantment was rejected.


The New York Instances reported that Brett Clothier, head of the AIU, mentioned the case was dealt with correctly.

“After being charged by the AIU, Ms. Houlihan’s case was heard by a three-member panel on the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which made its choice after listening to proof and arguments from the athlete’s attorneys and the AIU,” Clothier mentioned in an electronic mail.