The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has suspended two-time Olympic medalist Dawn Harper-Nelson for three months for an anti-doping rule violation.
Harper-Nelson tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide and related metabolites in an out-of-competition sample she gave on Dec. 1. The drug is in the class of diuretics and masking agents.
Harper-Nelson, 32, explained that the positive test was caused by a blood pressure medication she was prescribed to treat hypertension. USADA said its investigation included a review of Harper-Nelson’s medical records.
It accepted Harper-Nelson’s explanation that she tried to determine if the medication contained prohibited substances but was unable to do so because she used partial search terms.
On Twitter, Harper released a statement, saying, “Recently, I was rushed to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. As a result my physician prescribed a non-performance enhancing medication for high blood pressure that contained Hydrochlorothiazide, water pill. I never hid my use of this required medication, but did fail to fully understand how it’s administration was governed by current doping protocols. I take full responsibility of my mistake and have fully cooperated with IAAF and USADA in the handling of the matter. I have learned a valuable lesson and hope my mistake will serve as a reminder to all athletes to be diligent in thoroughly checking any and all prescribed medications.”
Harper-Nelson’s suspension began on Dec. 1. Harper-Nelson won Olympic gold in Beijing and silver in London in the 100-meter hurdles. She did not make the U.S. team for Rio after missing a spot in the final by .01 seconds.