U.s. rowing athlete accepts sanction

An athlete in the sport of rowing, Matt Kochem, of Somerset, N.J., has accepted a one-year suspension for committing an anti-doping rule violation in which he failed to file whereabouts information, according to a statement by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA).

The 25-year-old Kochem is a member of the USADA National Testing Pool that consists of a select group of athletes subject to certain whereabouts requirements in order to be located for USADA Out-of-Competition testing. The rowing athlete failed to comply with the whereabouts requirements and, as a result, accrued three Whereabouts Failures within an 18-month period. The combination of three Whereabouts Failures within an 18-month period constitutes a rule violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) anti-doping rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”).

A Whereabouts Failure for National Testing Pool athletes includes a failure to offer required quarterly whereabouts filings and/or failure to be available for testing due to inaccurate or incomplete information provided by the athlete.

The one-year period of ineligibility of Kochem began on April 12, 2012, the date he accepted the sanction. The athlete has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to January 21, 2012 the date of his third Whereabouts Failure, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes as a result of the violation.

Born in Littleton, Colorado, Kochem began rowing at the Burnt Hills Rowing Association in 1998 and finished fifth in the lightweight eight at the 2010 World Rowing Championships. Matt Kochem took the silver in the lightweight eight at the 2009 World Rowing Championships and finished second in the Temple Challenge Cup at the 2007 Henley Royal Regatta. At the 2006 Henley Royal Regatta, Kochem finished second in the Temple Challenge Cup and won the lightweight eight at the 2011 World Rowing Championships Trials. Kochem won the lightweight eight at the 2010 World Rowing Championships Trials and the lightweight eight at the 2009 World Rowing Championships Trials.

Kochem also won gold in the lightweight eight at the 2009 US Rowing National Championships, lightweight eight at the 2008 IRA Championships, lightweight eight at the 2007 IRA Championships, and the lightweight eight at the 2006 IRA Championships. In 2008, Matt Kochem was team captain at Cornell University in 2008 and was the recipient of the Excellence Fellowship in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University.

The U.S. national team roster for the World Rowing Championships had Kochem in the lightweight Men’s Eight (LM8+) along with John Carlson (Belmont, Mass.), Jimmy Sopko (Mathews, Va.), Kenny McMahon (Ladysmith, Wis.), Christian Klein (Herndon, Va.), William Newell (Weston, Mass.), Nicholas LaCava (Weston, Conn.), Edward King (Ironton, Mo.), and Austin Meyer (Cohoes, N.Y.). Kochem was part of the US Lightweight Men’s Eight after winning their event at the 2009 World Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland along with Kerry Quinn, Jim Spoko, Andrew Diebold, Matt Muffelman, Ryan Fox, Kenny McMahon, Anthony Fahden, and Skip Dise.

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