On July 13, 2021, 2021 CrossFit Games team athlete Katie Christian posted to her Instagram that she admitted to taking dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) — a banned substance listed as an “anabolic androgenic steroid” in the CrossFit Drug Test Program. The penalty for her failed drug test is a four-year ban from competition, starting on June 6, 2021, meaning that she and her teammates on team Move Fast Lift Heavy Crew are disqualified from the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
Team Members of Move Fast Lift Heavy Crew
- Christian Harris
- Brittany Marella
- William Carter
- Katie Christian
Christian explained in the caption of her Instagram post that she did not realize DHEA was a banned substance.
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“This was something that would never strike me as being a banned substance, for my idea of a banned substance goes to a totally different realm of things,” Christian writes in her Instagram post. She does hold herself accountable, however:
It was absolutely my responsibility to do my homework on the substances that are banned vs the supplements I was taking.
DHEA can be bought over the counter at pharmacies or vitamin stores — Christian noted that it is often found in the vitamin sections next to Vitamin D. According to a 2014 review in Drugs, it “improves physical and psychological well-being, muscle strength and bone density, and reduces body fat and age-related skin atrophy.” (1)
Team Move Fast Lift Heavy Crew captain Christan Harris posted to his Instagram and assumed partial responsibility:
I wish I had sat everyone down and spoke to them. Educated them…even myself just a little bit more.
Christian’s teammate Brittany Marella took to her Instagram to standby Christian, stating, “There’s no doubt that she didn’t knowingly take a banned supplement. I know her and what she stands for.”
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CrossFit Doping Violations
Team Move Fast Lift Heavy Crew earned their invite by ranking second at CrossFit Semifinal The Granite Games. They are now the third team to be disqualified from the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games for a doping violation. Ray and Ashleigh Fleser, members of team Ocean State’s Finest, which ranked fifth at The Granite Games, failed drug tests. Team Ocean State’s Finest was disqualified from the 2021 CrossFit Games and their invite passed to team 12 Labours Lions.
Janelle Stites (formerly Shafer) of team On Track, which placed fifth overall at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, tested positive for selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) ostarine as an Olympic weightlifter in 2019. CrossFit may recognize drug policy violations, including positive drug tests, reported by other national anti-doping organizations. Stites has since appealed.
2021 CrossFit Games
With team Move Fast Lift Heavy Crew out of the 2021 CrossFit Games, team Timberwolf CrossFit, which finished seventh at The Granite Games, was sent an invite to the 2021 Games and has accepted. The Games will kick off on July 27, 2021, in Madison, WI.
- Krzysztof Rutkowski, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): hypes and hopes. 2014. Drugs. doi: 10.1007/s40265-014-0259-8
Feature image: @katiechristian on Instagram