USA Powerlifting President: USAPL at Risk for Suspension, Out of Meet Testing to Increase

In an email sent to the membership of USA Powerlifting earlier this week, USAPL President Dr. L.J. Maile announced that the organization had received notification of a third drug test failure this year. While it doesn’t seem USAPL has yet published the full text on their homepage, the letter is quoted below in its entirety.


September 2016

This month’s newsletter merits my annual “tell it like it is” message, and it is regarding drug testing, doping failures and fines, and the risk that not following the WADA Code brings to each one of you.

As of this time, USA Powerlifting has received notification of our third international drug test failure in a (rolling) calendar year. While one appeal is still in process, and one is in the preliminary suspensions stage, should these be found positive, USA Powerlifting will be subject to a total of 14,000 Euro in fines over the three cases. That is equivalent to $15,724 or almost 400 individual memberships. We are also at risk for suspension as a federation from international competition. We will be among that nations that we point our fingers at as cheaters.

These three failures are for substances and medications that the person COULD be granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for, but if only the person had applied for an IPF TUE. If you are selected for an international competitor slot, you are notified by your coach that if taking medication that is identified in the WADA Banned Substance List, you must apple for a TUE. YOU are solely responsible for making that application. It does not matter whether you [sic] physician thinks you need the medication or whether it is for a legitimate medical condition, YOU MUST APPLY FOR A TUE!!!

Two of three of the failures/potential failures did not read the messages we sent them and proceeded to international competition anyway. Now every member of USA Powerlifting may suffer for their laziness, inattention, or belief that they are not subject to the rules.

One of the consequences of our precarious position with regard to failures is that the amount and complexity of out-of-meet testing will go up. That will result in increased cost for each person who competes internationally, because at the end of the dat it doesn’t seem fair to have those who don’t compete internationally pya for the mistakes of those who do. Another measure of managing our risk will be felt in restricting international competition to those who have a drug testing history with USA Powerlifting. Much of our risk comes from those new to the platform. In short, if we haven’t tested you in the past and we have no history with USA Powerlifting, you are not going.

In 2016, we sent 601 athletes to international competitions. Next year, because of these factors, fewer will likely go, and the cost for each lifter will be higher. That is, if we are eligible at all. The responsibility for keeping these opportunities available to all of the deserving athletes who could be eligible rests with each of you.

L.J. Maile, Ph.D., President
USA Powerlifting

Featured image: USA Powerlifting