US pair skater Calalang clears drug breach | WGN Radio 720

In elite figure skating, make-up can be as important a tool as boots and blades.

You can also set aside Olympic candidates.

Jessica Calalang, a US pair skater and potential team member for the Winter Olympics in Beijing next February, has recently overturned a sport break. Karalan tested positive for banned substances at the National Championships in January, and it took eight months for her name to be cleared.

These eight months are full of uncertainty and thoroughly test for 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (4-CPA), a known metabolite of the USADA-banned stimulant meclophenoxin. The feature is that it was investigated in a targeted manner.

“We were trying to follow our steps and understand what it could be,” says Karalan. “We have been elite athletes for quite some time and know what we put in our bodies. We know that we did nothing intentionally to put it at risk. Was. “

She received an email about the breach on February 12th and her entry into the World Championship was scheduled for March 1st.

“It only took me about two weeks to figure out where this came from, and during those two weeks I was scrambling to think about where my brain came from,” she recalls. “We were in a bubble for the people. It finally helped narrow it down. We sent some products to take the test. We are in a hurry to all bottom.”

Still, Karalan, 26, and partner Brian Johnson, 25, had to withdraw from the world where they were able to further establish their qualifications in the international skating scene.

“Initially, we thought it would be gone soon,” said Jenny, a three-time national pair champion with her husband Todd Sand and now coaching Karalan Johnson at Sand.・ Meno says. “We knew it was a strange situation and were convinced that Jessica wasn’t doing anything she shouldn’t do.

“I knew it was a big deal, but I didn’t think it would affect the rest of the season. I quickly realized that it wasn’t.”

Although they were still trained, they were not able to attend US figure skating licensed or sponsored events, but just as the plans for the Olympic season began, Karalan and Johnson were in a sort of career crisis. rice field. The federation provided support in several areas, including education, physical and mental health resources, but her funding from US figure skating was frozen.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee ombudsman explained to Karalan such violations and suspension schemes, and her options for retaining lawyers.

“I didn’t realize you had to go that far,” says Karalan. “Yes, the emotions and uncertainties we all experienced were very difficult to deal with from March to the present. Everything was very uncertain, things changed day by day, It was a faint light of hope, not after the lead, but it wasn’t. “

UFC Fighter Rob Font, who fought in early summer in May, was found by USADA that chlorphenesin, a non-banned cosmetic preservative in shampoos and lotions, could also be metabolized to 4-CPA. , The ban has been lifted. Calalang used a similar product.

“I used to do the same make-up, which was a big shock to me,” she says.

At the end of June, her lawyer Howard Jacobs notified Karalan of possible changes to the rules regarding 4-CPA, which will be voted at the end of September. If those regulations are passed, it may not cause her a breach. And USADA suggested she stay in the case until then. In return, USADA offered to lift her provisional suspension, allowing Karalan to compete and receive immediate funding.

“This was the best news I could get. Something I was suspicious of at that time was even possible,” she says. “This gave me more hope that I would compete again and my name would be cleared.”

The font was also different from the coloran. The font was cleared first because the UFC has its own anti-doping policy and WADA, the global organization that controls drug use in sports, is not part of it. USADA was able to clear him without seeking WADA approval. The Karalan case required WADA approval.

Karalan and Johnson were also fighting the watch while they wanted a solution. The National Championships and the Grand Prix Series, a major tournament for Beijing, will begin on October 22nd in Skate America. Participating in two of these events can be important for your chances of hosting the Olympics.

Karalan was completely cleared by WADA and USADA until September 30th. It was too late to attend the Grand Prix event, except for Skate America, where the federation gave them a spot.

“If Jessica didn’t have the resources and support to hire a lawyer to help her, this could have been another case where an innocent athlete would have a long-term ban,” Jacobs said. Says. “We can’t give Jessica the opportunity to go back in time to participate in the accidentally robbed World Championships, but we hope that anti-doping authorities will quickly fix this flaw in the test protocol and they will. So in a transparent way. “

Now they are free for competition and the money is fully revived. They finished fourth at a Finnish event last weekend.

“I think the experience of the team over the last few months has strengthened them,” says Meno. “And I think they know they can face anything. The way they pushed and continued training, Brian was always there for Jessica and gave a lot of support. They experienced. What I did is much bigger and more emotional than going to skating. “

Next week, they’re heading to Las Vegas for Skate America. Karalan recognizes that her fight was important to all athletes, not just herself and Johnson.

“I want to prevent this from happening to others,” says Karalan. “It was a very unpleasant experience … it would have been easy to throw my hand and say” you win “.

“I knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong with this and kept fighting and didn’t give up. I didn’t wave the white flag. We didn’t. When I wanted to. There was, I felt absolutely helpless, but we will continue to fight for this (result). ”


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US pair skater Calalang clears drug breach | WGN Radio 720

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