US wrestler booted from Olympics after drug test
Thursday, June 28, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. wrestler Stephany Lee has been suspended for a year and will give her up spot on the Olympic team after testing positive for marijuana.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced on Thursday that the 27-year-old Lee tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol acid, a marijuana metabolite, at the Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City on April 21.
Lee, who also tested positive for marijuana in 2009, has accepted the sanctions and must forfeit any medals, points or prizes dating back to her positive test.
“I apologize to USA Wrestling, my teammates, my coaches and everyone who supported me for my mistake. I will continue to train, and hope to be able to represent my country at the 2016 Olympic Games,” said Lee in a statement released through USA Wrestling.
Lee’s suspension means that Ali Bernard, who was upset by Lee in a best-of-three championship series at the Olympic Trials at 72 kilograms, has been declared the trials champion and is nominated to represent the United States in London.
“You try to help people make good decisions and this one wasn’t,” U.S. women’s freestyle coach Terry Steiner told the Associated Press on Thursday night. “I don’t expect to miss a beat. We have high expectations for that weight class.”
The U.S. certainly doesn’t figure to take a step backward in replacing Lee with Bernard.
Bernard, a graduate of New Ulm High in Minnesota, placed fifth in the Beijing Olympics and was third at the World Championships in 2011, a showing that qualified the U.S. to compete at 72 kg in London.
The U.S. Olympic Committee must approve Bernard’s status as the new representative at her weight, but that isn’t expected to be an issue.
“We expect big things, and I think she does too,” Steiner said of Bernard.
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