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Despite Wednesday’s shocking news, U.S. cyclocross gold medalist Katie Compton reacted firmly. She testified in 2020 that an anabolic agent she used was banned.
Compton, 42, said in a press release that she had never knowingly or intentionally injected a banned anabolic steroid into her body, contradicting the USADA statement. After learning the news, Compton indicated that she would be stepping away from competitive tennis.
Compton wrote: “This is the worst way to end my career.” I feel very sad and physically hurt by it.
It was announced on Wednesday that Compton had accepted a four-year ban following tests of a sample taken in September, 2020, which revealed it contained a banned anabolic agent, according to USADA, which can detect both natural and external anabolic agents.
Compton rejected the USADA report, stating that she was initially told her sample from September, 2020 had returned a negative result. According to Compton, an expert test for exogenous anabolic steroids returned a positive result early in 2021 from the same sample.
Compton wrote, “This was devastating news to me since I have never deliberately or knowingly ingested anything like that.”. “I am aware of how delicate women’s hormones are, and I would never wish to harm my endocrine system irreparably by taking anything that could harm them.” Not only that, but I have never taken anything for ethical and moral reasons; I have always been a strong supporter of clean sport and believe that doing anything to enhance one’s own natural abilities is cheating, full stop.”
As part of her defense, Compton hired a lawyer in March, but she was unable to find out how the banned substance entered her system. Due to the expenses involved with fighting the legal battle, she has decided not to continue the legal battle.
Therefore, I am ending my competitive career with great sorrow and stress,” Compton wrote. I’ve always been outspoken about my opposition to doping, which I share with my family and friends. I am devastated by this news. It is the worst time I have ever experienced in my life. In the last year, I have processed all the emotions I have experienced and realized that bike racing is not my thing anymore. Although I still love riding my bike and enjoying time with friends, I have no desire to race or compete again, which is probably a good thing since the sanction includes a four-year ban from competition.”
Having won 15 elite U.S. national titles and a variety of world-cup and world championship medals, Campton is the most decorated cyclocross racer in the country’s history.
The full statement from Katie Compton is below:
I receive this news with great sadness and heartbreak, and it is the worst way to end my cycling career. In the past, I have always been a clean athlete, and I am proud of everything I have done in terms of racing clean and being careful with what I put into my body, especially after dealing with so many health issues throughout my life.
It was not even atypical for the sample that I provided AmericaDA in September 2020 to be negative for banned substances. I was informed of that news by letter from USADA, as it has always been. This is the same letter I have received every time I have taken a test for the last 19 years. My knowledge of the re-analysis of this same sample from September of 2021 came after returning from a difficult race season, when an irregularity in the bio-passport caused it to be tested again and was found positive for an exogenous anabolic steroid. Having not put anything like that in my body on purpose or knowingly was devastating for me. Taking anything that jeopardizes my health and, as a result, causes irreversible harm to my endocrine system would never occur to me, knowing how delicate women’s hormones are. Furthermore, I have never taken anything for ethical or moral reasons; I have always been a strong advocate of clean sports and feel enhancing one’s natural ability is cheating, period.
My reputation and my self-respect were also at stake when I decided to retire in March. The lawyer I hired and my investigation into how the substance got into me failed to yield any answers. Over the past six months, I have learned that I can’t prove that I didn’t take anything intentionally, and I can’t afford to keep fighting knowing the outcome will be the same. I have decided not to fight an expensive and difficult legal battle, and accept the sanction, despite the five-month delay between my sample collection and notification.
Thus, I am ending my competitive career with great stress and sorrow. I have always been outspoken on the topic of doping, a topic I have discussed with my friends and family. The news I just received is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life. Since the last year, I’ve processed all the emotions and realized that bike racing is no longer a part of my life. Although I still enjoy riding my bike with friends, I have no desire to ever race or be competitive again, which is probably for the best since the sanction includes a four-year suspension from competition.
USADA has yet to release this news, so I wanted to share it with you before USADA does. After my transition out of competitive cycling for the next few years, I have no idea what my future may hold within the sport. I do know, however, that I will miss the racing community, especially all the amazing people I have met along the way who simply share my passion for cycling. Despite all the heartbreak and disappointment cycling brought me, I’ll always cherish the experiences and wonderful adventures it gave me. I feel crushed to have ended my career in this manner. I feel incredibly sad and physically hurt.