Roberts cleared of doping offence after ingesting substance by kissing girlfriend

  • Roberts cleared of doping offence after ingesting substance by kissing girlfriend

Roberts cleared of doping offence after ingesting substance by kissing girlfriend

Roberts - a 400m runner who helped the U.S. win gold in the 4X400 relay at the Rio Olympics - was suspended on a provisional basis in May after his A and B samples from a March testing period came back positive for a masking agent called probenecid.

He later told the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) he had contaminated the substance from his girlfriend.

The sprinter said he was unaware the substance could be passed to him while kissing his girlfriend.

Roberts said his girlfriend, Alex Salazar, had been given medicine to treat a sinus infection while she was visiting India. He had a small amount of the well-known banned masking agent probenecid in his system.

USADA accepted the ruling on June 24, rescinding calls to ban the athlete, who went on to compete at the USATF Outdoor Championships that were now underway. "He had no idea that kissing his girlfriend could lead to his ingesting a prohibited substance", the independent arbitrator writes in a June 20 report released Friday, per the BBC. "Roberts has met his burden of proof".

While Roberts's story may sound unique, this is not the first time kissing has led an athlete to fail a doping test. Because she had problems swallowing pills, Salazar took apart the capsules and swallowed the medicine inside with water.

Roberts' girlfriend later googled Moxylong and found that it contained probenecid.

In a similar case, world pole vault champion Shawn Barber was cleared previous year of a positive test for cocaine.

French tennis player Richard Gasquet also successfully argued that a positive test for cocaine had been due to kissing in 2009, which saw him cleared.