Reigning World Archery Champion Brady Ellison has received a finding of no-fault decision from the US Anti-Doping Agency following an out-of-competition drug test where he tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide.
The substance is banned under the diuretics and masking agents section of the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Ellison takes prescription medication, which contains no substances on the prohibited list, and provided a sample of this for detailed laboratory analysis. His medication was found to have been contaminated with hydrochlorothiazide at a level consistent with the positive test.
As a result, the US Anti-Doping Agency absolved Brady of any wrongdoing.
He will not receive a ban nor have any competition results disqualified. What’s more, due to the discovery of contaminated medicine, neither the anti-doping agency nor Brady had any obligation to make the positive test or outcome of the analysis public.
Brady, however, posted a heartfelt video message on his social media channels detailing what had happened and calling for education on the risk of contaminated medicines for athletes.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. It was absolute hell. I knew I hadn’t taken anything. But it’s still so stressful. My career was almost over, for something I took that wasn’t illegal, that was cross-contaminated,” said the world number one, who also became a first-time father during this ordeal.
“My message to any athlete out there is whenever you take medication, save some of it so that it can be tested afterwards. You have to have something that you can test and prove that you didn‘t take something willingly and save your career.”
World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen has praised Ellison’s response.
“The maturity, clarity and foresight Brady has displayed under these challenging circumstances are indicative of his qualities as a champion,” he said.
“We are exceptionally proud that he has chosen to come forward with this information and use it as an opportunity to educate his fellow athletes on anti-doping issues. World Archery will support Brady and work with its partners, particularly the International Testing Agency and World Anti-Doping Agency, to send the right message to archery’s athletes based on the values of clean sport.”
Brady Ellison won the Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands in 2019.
He is also a five-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion, the current world number one and holds the 72-arrow 70-metre ranking round record at 702 out of a possible 720 points – having been only the second person in history to break the 700-barrier.
Ellison qualified the USA a single quota place to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with his world championship win.