Paralympic cycling athlete accepts sanction

Monica Bascio of Evergreen, Colorado, has accepted a sanction for her anti-doping rule violation, according to an announcement by the U.S. Anti-doping Agency (USADA). The 42-year-old Bascio is an athlete in the sport of Paralympic cycling and tested positive for Tuaminoheptane.

A urine sample of Bascio collected on May 26, 2012 at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Rome, Italy tested positive for Tuaminoheptane and she said that the positive drug test was the result of taking an over-the-counter medication containing Tuaminoheptane that is a prohibited substance under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Cycling Union(UCI) anti-doping rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Tuaminoheptane is categorized as a Specified substance and an athlete can get a reduced sanction if he or she can prove that the source of the substance and that there was no intention to improve sport performance or mask the use of a performance enhancing drug. Tuaminoheptane is a nasal decongestant and a stimulant that is on the 2011 list of prohibited substances published by the World Anti-Doping Agency. In 2008, French rugby player Rabah Slimani, was found guilty of taking Tuaminoheptane for a cold.

The three-month period of ineligibility for Bascio began on May 26, 2012 and she has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to May 25, 2012 the date the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup event started, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

Bascio accepted a sanction for her anti-doping rule violation, according to the anti-doping agency. Bascio was last month selected for the US team and is a 15-time US hand cycling champion.

During the 2012 London Olympics, Bascio came second to Marianna “Muffy” Davis, of Salt Lake City, Utah in Women Individual H 1 3 Road Race Cycling. She finished only 33 seconds back of Davis.

Monica Bascio was paralyzed in a 1992 ski accident and represented the United States at the 2006 and 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in cross-country sit skiing. Thereafter, she moved to Santa Cruz, California, and enrolled at San Jose State University to earn a degree in occupational therapy in 1998. The world champion hand cyclist spent five years in the national team before she made a transition to Nordic skiing in 2002. Monica Bascio started skiing on the World Cup circuit in February of 2004 and competed in her first Paralympic Winter Games in 2006. Bascio notched three top-10 finishes in the 2.5k, 5k, and 10k events in Torino. Her achievements include gold medal in 2011 H3-4 road race, ninth place in 10k at Parapan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico 2010, tenth place in 5k at the Paralympic Games, Vancouver, Canada 2010, and the first place in 5k U.S. Cross Country Championships 2007. Working as an occupational therapist, Monica Bascio bagged the seventh place in 5k at the Paralympic Winter Games, Torino, Italy 2006 and the 10k silver medal at the World Cup Finals 2004.

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