Two Masters Athletes Fail Drug Tests From 2018 CrossFit Games

Yesterday, CrossFit HQ published the results of two athletes who have failed drug tests from the 2018 CrossFit Games. The two athletes announced are Women’s 35-39 competitor Kelli Holm who took home fourth at this year’s Games, and the Men’s 40-44 second place finisher and multi-time champion Shawn Ramirez.

In the publication, CrossFit HQ states that Holm will now be facing a 2-year suspension, as opposed to her previous 4-year suspension after following the appeals process. Ramirez’s suspension will remain for four years. The banned substances each athlete tested positive for can be seen below.

  • Holm: Metabolites of GW1516 – metabolic modulator
  • Ramirez: Metabolites of GW1516 – metabolic modulator and ostarine – anabolic agent

If you recall, the banned substance “metabolites of GW1516 – metabolic modulator” was the same test Ricky Garard tested positive for following the 2017 CrossFit Games. 

This news is big for male Masters level athletes, as Ramirez has been a dominant force for the men’s 40-44 year old age group for the last five years. Since 2010, Ramirez has taken home first place at the Games for this age group, except in 2018 where he took home second. This news will now move the 2018 CrossFit Games third place finisher David Levey into second, and fourth place finisher Jason Grubb into third.

Since 2017, Holm has consistently improved her placing on the leaderboard at the CrossFit Games in the Women’s 35-39 Masters group. She placed 13th in 2017 and took home fourth this year at the Games.

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At the conclusion of the 2018 Crossfit Games, I was honestly thrilled to take a drug test. I had placed well in my division, and I was happy to prove that it was all done clean. There was no doubt in my mind I would pass. ▪️ A number of weeks ago, I received an email from Crossfit stating that I had failed my drug test. I was completely shocked and confused. I have never taken a banned substance of any kind. On the contrary, I feel my coach and I have been extremely cautious and mindful about every substance that goes into my body. I try to use products tested by third parties whenever possible, or products that are widely used and accepted within the CrossFit community. ▪️ The substance found was 0.02ng/mL (20 trillionths of a gram) of “a metabolite of GW1516". This meant nothing to me, having never heard of it before. It was suggested that I should test the supplements I still had from my time at the CrossFit Games, and one of those supplements (a common and well-known pre-workout powder) proved to be contaminated with GW1516 (I have been advised not to name the brand at this time). Crossfit has acknowledged that the supplement was indeed contaminated, however because this product was not third-party tested, they are holding me responsible for ingesting the unlisted ingredient. ▪️ I would never choose to disrespect my fellow athletes through cheating and I apologize that I am even linked to a failed test. I know God will surely use this experience and time away from competing in a way that glorifies Him and molds me. And for me to want anything beyond His glory and the shaping of my heart would be futile. While this is quite a blow to my competition goals, I will continue to pursue this sport and remain a part of this community that I love.

A post shared by Kelli Nygren Holm (@kelliholm) on

As a whole, 2018 has been an eventful year for athletes failing drug tests. In July, news initially broke about multiple athletes failing tests after the 2018 CrossFit Regionals competitions, but it’s been relatively quiet since then.

Feature image from @shawn_theram Instagram page and photo by @baconandprs.