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.

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. 


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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.