Irish Sprinter Withdrawn Over EPO Positive Test

Steven Colvert, the Irish sprinter who was set to compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in the European Team Championships in Tallinn, has been forced to withdraw because of an adverse finding for EPO in an out of competition test on May 20.

The “A” sample of Colvert was found to have an “adverse analytical finding” for the substance “recombinant erythropoietin”, which is commonly known as EPO. Erythropoietin is generally used by athletes, especially distance runners, to improve performance. In the London 2012 Olympics, the Crusaders athlete narrowly missed out in the 200m by two hundredths of a second, running 20.57 seconds, just short of the 20.55 required. Colvert vehemently denied taking any banned substance and wants to get his ‘B’ sample tested to clear his name.

Colvert, a third year law student in DCU, remarked he was in an exam in DCU on May 20 when drugs testers from the Irish Sports Council met him outside the exam hall and notified  him that he had to take an out of competition test and he duly provided urine and blood samples. Colvert said he thought nothing of it until he was informed on June 17 that there had been an adverse analytical finding for EPO in the urine sample only. The athlete, who has season’s bests of 20.90 for the 200m and 10.58 for the 100m, said it all just feels like a really bad dream or a horrible prank and added he does not take any supplements except for during that exam period where he took a generic multivitamin [Activ-Max], which can be bought off the shelf in Aldi because he was feeling run down from his exams and added he also took an iron supplement called Galfer which  he purchased over the counter in a pharmacy. Colvert remarked he took one tablet of each supplement two days before the test.

The Irish sprinter added he normally doesn’t take any supplements and he sources protein from whole foods such as eggs, meat, and cheese. Steven Colvert added he does not take any recovery or energy drinks or creatine or any supplements in general. The sprinter added he is going to seek to have the B sample tested along with giving his full co-operation to the Irish Sports Council and all the relevant bodies involved in the investigations and he is happy to provide any extra drugs tests, provide financial statements and take any forensic test above and beyond what’s required in order to vindicate his name as he firmly believes there has been some sort of error or false positive. Colvert went on to add that he is part of the program in which they keep all of his samples for 10 years and he is happy to go back and let them test every single sample ever provided – both in competition and out of competition. He also remarked the natural inclination of a majority of people is to think that a person with a failed ‘A’ sample is guilty but there are a number of cases in the past where an ‘A’ sample has been a false positive.

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