CrossFit Bans 5 Athletes for Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Five European athletes who competed in the 2017 Meridian Regionals have received a ban from CrossFit following positive tests from directed drug testing.

The samples were taken earlier this summer and while the ban was just announced, none of the five athletes ultimately went on to compete at the Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin. Their results from the Meridian Regionals have been nullified.

Here are the athletes’ names and the substances for which they tested positive.

  • Andrea Barbotti, clomiphene, an estrogen receptor modulator that may alter testosterone levels
  • Stella Christoforou, clenbuterol, a bronchodilator that may enhance muscle protein synthesis
  • Ľudovít Czókoly, clomiphene
  • Paweł Leśnikowski, clenbuterol, modafinil (a wakefulness-promoting agent) and elevated testosterone levels
  • Gianluca Occhino, tamoxifen, a cancer treatment drug that may increase testosterone

The CrossFit Games conducts testing on every podium finisher at the Regionals and the Games, select members of qualifying teams, and other, randomly selected athletes.

According to a statement posted on the Reebok CrossFit Games website, these five athletes were singled out for screening after CrossFit received “information it deemed reasonable that led to screening specific athletes.” CrossFit Games General Manager Justin Bergh said,

Use of performance-enhancing drugs is a reality in many professional arenas. We’re committed to being the exception.

We will provide the resources necessary to expand the depth and volume of directed testing in and out of competition, and will continue to use information gained from our global community to weed out those who would cheat.

Andrea Barbaotti made a statement on his Instagram claiming that he was prescribed clomiphene for respiratory problems and that “taked (sic) alone, they can’t boost performance.”

I just want to say two things, constructive and absolutely not controversial, because performance or not, in any case I was wrong. And every man should take his responsability.

Ľudovít Czókoly also made a statement in which he accepted wrongdoing, appearing to say that he doped to help him overcome injuries.

Desperate times bring desperate choices and I did everything not to miss this lifetime opportunity despite of these injuries (…)

I made a mistake… whether intentionally or not doesn’t matter anymore. Everyone is responsible for his own deeds and I will have more than enough time to think about my choices and the price I had to pay for them.

It appears that the reason it took so long for these results to be declared is that they “required additional testing and time for the appeals process to conclude.”

The athletes’ bans will remain in place through the 2021 season.

Featured image via @ludovitczokoly on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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