Four-Year Sanction On US Track & Field Athlete

Mohamed “Mo” Trafeh, a U.S. athlete in the sport of track & field, has received a doping sanction for four years by an independent Arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association, North American Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel (AAA), according to an announcement by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The AAA arbitrator found Trafeh guilty of committing multiple anti-doping rule violations, including repeated use and possession of Erythropoietin (EPO) and evading sample collection. The multiple violations and other conduct of Trafeh were considered by the arbitrator as aggravating circumstances. The Arbitrator determined that in accordance with the rules of the World-Anti Doping Code, Trafeh must receive a 4-year period of ineligibility as well as a loss of results which includes a U.S. 15K National Championship, U.S. Half Marathon Championship and a record-setting U.S. 25k National Championship.

Erythropoietin is a synthetic hormone that is used for stimulating the production of red blood cells in the body. This hormone has the ability to increase transportation of oxygen in the body and improve aerobic capacity. EPO, belonging to the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, and Related Substances, is a prohibited substance. The anti-doping violations committed by Trafeh were in violation of anti-doping rules including the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart remarked this decision by the independent Arbitrator shows the importance of non-analytical cases in the effort to protect clean athletes. Tygart added investigations along with education and testing are a critical component of the mission to ensure that those who defraud their competitors with the use of performance-enhancing drugs and attempt to evade testing to avoid getting caught, don’t get away with it.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency presented evidence during the arbitration hearing to the independent Arbitrator including testimony from several witnesses under oath as well as other documentary evidence. The arbitrator, after considering all the evidence presented, confirmed that the evidence proved that Trafeh purchased Erythropoietin and transported it into the United States and that he had used the blood-boosting drug since at least January 2012. The arbitrator also remarked Trafeh knowingly submitted false whereabouts information in an attempted ruse to both avoid testing and the consequences of an unsuccessful test attempt because of his failure to submit accurate whereabouts information to the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The United States Anti-Doping Agency proved that the athlete was actually in the United States when USADA sent a doping control officer to his residence in Morocco to test him in February 2014.

Trafeh is disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to January 1, 2012, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes. The disqualification of the athlete includes his 2012 U.S. 15K National Championship, 2013 U.S. Half Marathon Championship and his record-setting U.S. 25k National Championship. It was ruled by the Arbitrator ruled that Trafeh’s period of ineligibility should start on January 1, 2012, the date from which it was determined he first committed an anti-doping rule violation.

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