Arbitrator overturns Gil Roberts' drug ban after sprinter's 'kissing' defense

Ross Houston
July 16, 2017

But as reported by the Orlando Sentinel, an arbiter recently upheld an appeal of the results by Roberts, who was part of the gold-medal winning 4x400-meter relay team at the 2016 Olympics.

Olympic gold medallist Gil Roberts has been cleared of failing a drugs test, after it was found that he ingested a banned substance by kissing his girlfriend. In March he tested positive for the drug probenecid, and two months later the United States Anti-Doping Agency said Roberts' B sample also tested positive for the drug, which is a masking agent.

Arbitrator overturns Gil Roberts' drug ban after sprinter's 'kissing' defense

The case went to an arbitrator in June.

Judge John Charles Thomas explained the full story in his case summary released on July 10, noting Roberts's girlfriend, Alex Salazar, had taken the substance as part of a medication she procured to treat a sinus infection while traveling in India.

A doctor serving as an expert witness for Roberts testified that his level of probenecid was much lower than it would have been had he taken an entire pill and was not enough to mask any drugs in his system. Salazar got sinus medication from a "makeshift" and "messy" place and came back with a prescription of "Moxylong", which it turns out contains the masking agent. Salazar ingested the medicine that afternoon, the two kissed after that, and the doping officer arrived three hours later.

The woman, Alex Salazar, continued to take the medicine when she returned to the USA, breaking the capsule apart and pouring its contents into her mouth before swallowing with water.

Roberts said that he ingested probenecid through "frequently and passionately" kissing his girlfriend days before his March drug test.

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