T&T jumper Tyra Gittens accepts retroactive six-month ban for a prohibited substance found in ADHD medication

By April 03, 2023

An expired Therapeutic Use Exemption certificate has caused Trinidad and Tobago long jumper Tyra Gittens to accept a six-month ban for the unintentional use of a prohibited substance. The ban took effect from September 26, 2022 and any results in competition since June 26, 2022, have been wiped from her record, which means she loses her results from the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham England.

The ban has since expired which means she is now free to train and compete.

World Athletics’ Athletics Integrity United (AIU) ruled on Monday that the athlete was ineligible for a person of six months after a sample she provided in June 2022 was found to contain methylphenidate/ritalinic acid, a prohibited substance that is an ingredient of the medication she takes for ADHD.

However, at the time the sample was taken, Gittens’ Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) had expired. The AIU said it accepts that the athlete had not realized that her previous TUE had expired by the time that the first sample was taken at the national Trinidad and Tobago championships on June 26, 2022.

“She was not advised that the TTO Sample was positive for methylphenidate, or that her TUE had expired for this purpose, until November 2022, after the sample collected from her at the World Championships on July 23, 2022,” the AIU said adding that they also accept that Gittens had no information at the time of her second World Athletics sample that her TUE application was incomplete.

“The AIU also accepts that the medication was used for legitimate medical reasons and the athlete did not intend to cheat. Accordingly, the AIU accepts that the violation was not ‘intentional’.”

Gittens, who turned pro just last week, addressed the development on her Instagram on Monday stating that, “My Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for taking ADHD medication was not approved in time for the World Championships last summer, which caused me to test positive for methylphenidate.

“Even though I have taken the same medication for years and had the same TUE for the Tokyo Olympics, I did not complete the application correctly. To put this behind me, my team and I accepted a six-month suspension backdated to Sept(ember) 25, which means the period of ineligibility is already served, and I can proceed with my season. During that time, I learned so much more about myself, my priorities, and my goals.”

She also revealed that this was not the only challenge she had to face in the last year.

“The last year and a half was one of the most challenging times of my life. First my transfer, it was a huge leap of faith and it extremely last minute. It was complicated learning a new event, having a new coach, new training schedules, new programs, living in a new city, and being in a new environment,” she said.

“It was an extremely confusing and overwhelming time and it led me to not trust myself and it showed in my performance last year.

“Secondly, earlier that year I lost my grandmother to diabetes. In August my aunt lost her battle with breast cancer, two weeks later my last grandmother passed away. Losing those amazing women was extremely heartbreaking. They were fighters and even though it was tough moving on, their stories motivated me to continue my fight as well.”

She revealed that these trials have made her stronger and better prepared for anything that life will throw at her.

“I am a different woman because of last year’s trials and tribulations. It has made me stronger, more trusting of myself, happier, and more at peace with my reality,” she said.

“I’m so thankful for the people who were behind me during this extremely lonely time of my life. Now it’s time to get back to work and continue my journey of turning my dreams into reality.”

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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