You have the burden of proving your innocence once you test positive for a banned substance. Unlike a criminal case, you are not innocent until proven guilty. Instead, since the standard is “strict liability” in doping cases, you are, in effect, guilty until proven innocent.

Contamination Can Cause Positive Tests

Athlete Drug Rules Lawyer Global Sports AdvocatesThings you may never have suspected can cause unintentional positives on drug tests. For example, there are documented cases of athletes having positive tests for:
  • Trenbolone, zeranol, clenbuterol, and nandrolone after eating meat
  • Probenecid and cocaine after kissing
  • Letrozole and GW1516 metabolites after having unprotected sex
  • Cannabinoids after taking CBD products
  • Many substances from mislabeled dietary supplements and contaminated prescription medicines

How to Prove Contamination Caused Your Positive Test for a Banned Substance

The evidence you need to prove your innocence depends on the specific circumstances of your case. In some cases, you may need evidence that includes:

A Food Log

Let’s consider the example of the banned substance nandrolone. Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid that is produced naturally by animals. Eating certain types of pork, particularly boar offal, can cause a positive drug test for nandrolone. Accordingly, a log of everything you ate in the hours leading up to your drug test can be critical to proving your innocence.

Polygraph Test

You can benefit from submitting to a lie detector test. The results of your lie detector test could lend credibility to your claim about why you tested positive for a drug that you did not knowingly ingest.

Hair Testing

Hair sample testing can reliably detect whether you knowingly ingested a banned substance for six months or more and show that the ingestion was done without intent.

Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses in the field of anti-doping and environmental contamination can be necessary to explain why you tested positive for a drug unintentionally.

Additionally, your drug testing history and anti-doping education could be relevant to your case.

You will benefit from providing multiple types of evidence that support your innocence and help establish that you did not knowingly or intentionally take a banned substance.

An Experienced Anti-Doping Lawyer Can Help You Prove Your Innocence

Anti-doping rules should be about fairness. Just as it is unfair to allow athletes to take performance-enhancing drugs without penalty, it is also unfair to severely punish athletes for positive drug tests when they unknowingly ingested a banned substance by way of contamination.

Importantly, once your drug test comes back positive, it is up to you to prove the likely source of the banned substance and how you ingested it so you can quickly return to the field of play. However, you don’t have to take on this burden alone.

Are You an Athlete Who Has Been Accused of Anti-Doping Rule Violations?

If you have been accused of violating anti-doping rules, it's crucial that you speak with an experienced sports attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call us directly at +1-207-747-5899 to schedule your free consultation. Our firm is devoted to the very specific practice of sports law and has represented athletes from over 50 countries spanning nearly every sports category. When it comes to anti-doping rule violations, you simply can't afford to take any chances. Not only are your career and reputation at stake—so are your lifelong dreams. Don't hesitate. Contact us today.

Paul Greene
Recognized as one of the world’s leading sports lawyers and a well-known speaker and author.