Under 20 100-meter record holder Issam Asinga banned 4 years, has mark scrubbed for doping positive

MONACO (AP) — The sprinter who set the Under-20 world record at 100 meters has been banned for four years and had his record stripped after anti-doping officials ruled against his claim that his positive test for a performance-enhancer came from eating “recovery gummies.”

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which runs track and field's anti-doping operation, announced the penalties Monday for Issam Asinga, who ran an Under-20 record of 9.89 seconds in the 100 at the South American championships last summer.

Asinga said in a statement released Monday he will appeal the decision.

“Since I began competing, I have always been committed to the integrity of my sport,” Asinga said. “I have been hyper-vigilant and have NEVER used and would NEVER knowingly use any banned substance, risking a promising career and my entire future.”

Asinga, who lives in Florida, burst onto the track scene by beating world champion Noah Lyles in April 2023 in a wind-aided time of 9.83.

Asinga has been suspended since August, when he tested positive for a banned substance called GW1516, which was developed to build endurance and burn fat but failed medical trials when it was found to cause cancer during tests on rodents.

Asinga claimed he took gummies that were supposed to aid in his recovery. He said two containers of the gummies revealed the presence of the banned substance but the AIU panel that heard the case said he did not satisfy the burden of proof that the gummies were the source of the drug found in his sample.

His statement said the lot number of the Gatorade Recovery Gummies that Asinga consumed weren’t the same as the ones tested in his case. His statement said that requests to “obtain a sealed container from the exact lot number for testing were denied by PepsiCo.”

“Sadly, in 2023 while I was still a high school senior, PepsiCo gave me a Gatorade gift package which contained Gatorade Recovery Gummies, displaying the industry-approved NSF Certified for Sport logo,” Asinga said. “The containers given to me were later tested at a WADA-accredited laboratory which identified that the product given to me was contaminated with GW1516, the same substance I tested positive for in trace amounts. Further, it turned out that the lot number on the containers given to me was NOT from an NSF-Certified for Sport lot.”

Asinga added: “While I respect the AIU’s responsibility to protect the sport, I am devastated that they issued the harshest ruling without regard for these facts and the evidence presented, which showed that the product I was given and took the week before my positive test was contaminated. I am even more disheartened by misleading product labeling from a major corporation and their refusal to provide product samples needed to help an athlete they honored as their Gatorade Athlete of the Year.”

The penalties, which can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, scrub all his results since July 18, including the world-record time and the 100 and 200-meter crowns from last year's South American championships.

“My goal has always been to use my gift to follow my dream of a track and field career, continuing my parents’ amazing legacy,” Asinga said. “I am a young man of integrity.”


AP sports:

The Associated Press