Olympic champion took male enhancement product that included DHEA.
The 2008 Olympic 400m champion, LaShawn Merritt of the United States, has tested positive for the banned substance DHEA. Merritt reportedly had taken the male enhancement product ExtenZe which contains DHEA. Merritt says he did know that it contained the banned substance and was only using it for personal reasons.
In a harsh statement, USATF CEO Doug Logan said of the situation:
“We understand that Mr. Merritt’s case is still ongoing with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and USATF awaits USADA’s decision on the case. Any professional athlete in this sport knows that they are solely responsible for anything that goes into their bodies. For Mr. Merritt to claim inadvertent use of a banned substance due to the ingestion of over-the-counter supplements brings shame to himself and his teammates. Thanks to his selfish actions, he has done damage to our efforts to fight the plague of performance-enhancing drugs in our sport.
“Mr. Merritt has been an integral part of Team USA and the sport in this country. He has now put his entire career under a cloud and in the process made himself the object of jokes. In this day and age, a professional athlete should know better. Personally, I am disgusted by this entire episode.”
Merritt will face strict sanctions for the positive test, including being banned from competition.