American athlete cleared of doping in contaminated beef case

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              FILE - In this March 2, 2018, file photo, United States' Jarrion Lawson makes an attempt in the men's long jump final at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain. The agent for Lawson says the American long jumper has been cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a doping offense involving tainted beef. Paul Doyle says Lawson is eligible to compete effective immediately. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed Monday it has overturned a four-year ban imposed on American long jumper Jarrion Lawson for a positive doping test caused by eating beef containing steroids.

The 2017 world championship silver medalist had announced Friday he could return to competition almost 20 months after his last event.

Lawson was unanimously cleared by three judges of any fault for the positive test, the court said. The judging panel included Richard McLaren, who led investigations into the Russian doping program.

The reason traces of an anabolic steroids were found in a June 2018 sample was “more likely than not that the origin of the prohibited substance was contaminated beef consumed in a restaurant the day before the test,” the court said.

Lawson was able to prove he ordered a beef bowl at a Japanese restaurant in Arkansas on June 2, 2018.

The steroid, trenbolone, can be used in the United States to promote the growth of beef cattle. It is banned in farming in the European Union.

Trenbolone formed part of a steroid mixture, known as the “Duchess” cocktail, developed in Russia and used by its athletes ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The 25-year-old Lawson last competed in July 2018 at a Diamond League event in London, where he took silver at the previous year’s worlds. He placed fourth at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

While suspended by World Athletics, Lawson missed the 2019 season, including the world championships in Qatar.