Yet another failed drug test has arisen in the CrossFit Team Division with the 2020 NOBULL CrossFit Games less than two weeks away. According to CrossFit HQ’s announcement, made on July 15, 2021, Deshawn Smith of team Invictus Unconquerable provided a urine sample at the West Coast Classic CrossFit Semifinal that contained a “banned substance.” Team Invictus Unconquerable has been disqualified from competing at the 2021 CrossFit Games.
Team Members of Invictus Unconquerable
- Deshawn Smith
- Alex Bozenhard
- Taylor Jo
- Devyn Kim
Per Smith’s caption in the post on his Instagram page addressing the incident, the banned substance was “metabolites from the selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) GW1516,” also known as Endurobol. It is considered an anabolic agent in the CrossFit Games Drug Testing Program. Smith is appealing the doping violation.
View this post on Instagram
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In his post, Smith says he plans to “save the details for [his] official appeal,” but does state that the following:
Jeopardizing my team’s opportunity to showcase the hard work we have put in over the last few months is not something I would ever, for a second even consider.
Smith is the fourth athlete in the CrossFit Team Division to test positive for a banned substance leading to the disqualification of their team from the 2021 CrossFit Games. The first was Janelle Stites (formerly Shafer) of team On Track, which placed fifth overall at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge. Stites tested positive for SARM ostarine as an Olympic weightlifter in 2019, which CrossFit HQ can recognize as a drug policy violation. Like Smith, Stites has appealed.
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 Games and their invite went to team 12 Labours Lions. Less than a week before the news of Smith’s doping violation broke, Katie Christian admitted to taking dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which lead to the disqualification of Team Move Fast Lift Heavy.
Team Invictus Unconquerable ranked second at the West Coast Classic to earn their spot at the Games. Their invitation to the Games was sent instead to Team Man Made, which finished in sixth place, one rank shy of initially qualifying for the Games.
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Forward to the 2021 CrossFit Games
The 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games kicks off on July 27, 2021. The Games will feature over 600 athletes across 27 different divisions competing at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. Forty men and 40 women will compete as individuals, and 38 teams will compete in the Rx’d divisions. Four-time reigning champion Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr will be in attendance to defend against the likes of 2020 CrossFit Games finalists Katrin Davíðsdóttir, Kari Pearce, Haley Adams, Brooke Wells, and the return of 2012 Fittest Woman on Earth® Annie Thorisdottir.
Additionally, a new Fittest Man on Earth is guaranteed to be crowned as Mat Fraser retired from competitive CrossFit after winning his fifth consecutive Games title in 2020. 2020 Games bronze medalist Justin Medeiros, finalist Jeffrey Adler, and 2019 Games runner-up Noah Ohlsen will also be back to fight for the crown. The Games will also feature the top five men and top five women from the Open in three adaptive divisions — Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, and Neuromuscular.
Feature image: @deshawn.m.smith on Instagram