Burritogate: Banned U.S. runner Shelby Houlihan's steroid excuse falls flat
Bring It In panel discusses runner's claim that positive test was caused by pork burrito
U.S. runner Shelby Houlihan's four-year ban for testing positive for the performance enhancing substance nandrolone was upheld by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport last week.
The 28-year-old American record-holder in the 1,500 and 5,000 metres was unable to prove her claim that the positive test for the anabolic steroid was caused by eating a pork burrito purchased from a food truck near her house in Beaverton, Ore.
Houlihan was considered a medal contender heading into the upcoming Olympics, but she will now be be forced to miss the Tokyo Games and 2024 Olympics in Paris while also dealing with a tarnished reputation.
On the latest episode of the CBC Sports video series Bring It In, Morgan Campbell is joined by Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin to discuss Houlihan's four-year ban and the believability of her burrito excuse. The panel also reacts to the news that 10,000 local spectators will be permitted to attend the Tokyo Olympics.
WATCH | Bring It In panel discusses Houlihan's competition ban:
Houlihan's coach, Jerry Schumacher of the Bowerman Track Club, claimed in a statement that he had never heard of the performance enhancing drug nandrolone. But Campbell finds that highly unlikely given the list of notable athletes who previously tested positive for the banned substance over the years.
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The substance has been banned by the International Olympic Committee since 1974.
"You're a professional track coach in this environment where positive tests for all types of drugs, nandrolone included, happen all the time and you've never heard of this drug?" Campbell questioned.
Along with the ban, McPeak pointed out that Houlihan damaged her reputation while also throwing a local business under the bus with her unsubstantiated excuse.
"Her credibility is out the window," McPeak said. "They didn't believe it, they saw through it.
"Then you now take a business which really and truly had nothing to do with this entire story . . . now you're putting their business on the line. You're jeopardizing them making money and being able to take care of their family."
Zirin made the point that Houlihan and her team only made things more difficult in the long run by refusing to take ownership.
"We know that the fraud took place, and we know that there needs to be repercussions. I think when they try to move beyond that with excuses and stories and tall tales, they're really just taking a bad problem and making it worse," Zirin said.
The panel also brings up some important questions and concerns in reaction to the news that 10,000 Japanese spectators will be allowed to attend the Summer Games in Tokyo.
WATCH | Bring It In panel discusses merit of spectators at Tokyo Games: