U.S. 25K Record Holder Mo Trafeh Caught With EPO

Mo Trafeh, shown here competing at the 2010 NYC Half Marathon, announced his retirement from running after being caught with the performance-enhancing drug EPO. Photo: PhotoRun.net

The 8-time U.S. road champion says he is retiring from the sport.

Late Wednesday night it was reported by LetsRun.com that eight-time U.S. road racing champion Mo Trafeh admitted to buying EPO and being caught with it in his possession by U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) officials at an airport earlier this year. The 29-year-old faces a EPO, or Erythropoietin, is a performance-enhancing drug that boosts the production of red blood cells in the body. It is been on the World Anti-Doping banned substance list since the early 1990s, and its use has tarnished endurance sports such as cycling, long distance running and swimming in recent years.

At the 2013 Fifth Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, Mich., Trafeh ran 1:14:18 to break Fernando Cabada’s American 25K record by three seconds, submitted a statement to letsrun.com through his lawyer, Jonathan LaCour, which read in part:

As an elite runner, former U.S. Road Champion, and proud-USA representative, it is with great sadness that I announce my retirement. … Against my better judgment and after hours of discussions, I made an unwise decision to purchase EPO, a USOC banned substance, so that I could train in effort to return to my previous form. … I would like to publicly state that since 2008 I have been one of the most sought after targets in our sport and have never failed a drug test. I was stopped before I was able to use EPO, I never previously used EPO and if I had the financial resources to fight this case, I am confident that I would prevail.

Trafeh, who contends that he has never failed a drug test and has never actually used EPO, has not yet been published by USADA although a decision is expected to be made soon.

MORE: LetsRun.com

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