Yesterday afternoon, reports surfaced that British weightlifter Sonny Webster had tested positive for Ostarine. This substance is one of many on the World Anti Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, and is what’s known as a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM). These are supplements often used in medical patients with muscle wasting diseases such as osteoporosis.
From Webster’s Facebook post and Instagram page, he states that he actually tested positive roughly four months ago, but couldn’t openly state anything due to legal reasons. Webster has been known for his advocacy of clean sport in weightlifting, so this news caught many of his fans off guard. Webster will now serve a four year ban from competition.
In the statement originally made on his Facebook page, Webster states, “I was in complete shock when I found out and I still do not know how this substance came to be in my system. Weightlifting is my life and everything that I live and breathe and I would never risk losing this by knowingly taking a banned substance.”
[To read Webster’s full post, scroll to the right in the Instagram post below.]
He also points out how he’s been on the Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) list since the age of 16. This is a web-based program that tracks an athlete’s results, whereabouts, and much more. In his post Webster writes,
“The positive test was out of my allocated testing hour, which means that had I not answered the door then there would not have been any consequences. As I had nothing to hide, I was happy to welcome the testers into my home and perform my drugs test as I always have been (I have done nearly 50 since the age of 16).As you will be aware, I regularly promote clean sport and take pride in the fact that I get drug tested.”
Within his post, Webster also writes how he’s unsure how the substance got into his system, and that he’s spent his life savings trying to figure it out. Webster writes, “The reason why I haven’t been able to share it with you is because I have been working with a legal team and experts in order to try to establish where the ostarine has come from and how it got into my body. We intially felt that the most likely cause of the positive test was due to cross-contamination of supplements, as there have been many other athletes that have tested positive for ostarine under these circumstances. There have also been many examples of ostarine being found in products that it should not be in, such as salt tablets (which are used for hydration).”
Webster has declined a 50% ban reduction in turn for the admittance of openly knowing how Ostarine got into his system. His social posts indicate that he strongly feels that there’s been an error, and that he won’t admit to anything he claims he hasn’t knowingly done.
Feature image from @sonnywebstergb Instagram page.