Debbie Dunn, who made the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in the pool of runners for the 4 x 400-meter relay, tested positive for the likely presence of an anabolic steroid at the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore.
Dunn, 34, of Norfolk, Va., finished fourth in the 400 meters at the trials. She was the 2010 indoor world champion and outdoor U.S. champion in the event and ran a leg of the gold medal 4 x 400 relays at the 2009 outdoor worlds and 2010 indoor worlds.
In a statement sent after the Tribune revealed the positive, Dunn said she was withdrawing from the Olympic team. She said the test revealed an elevated testosterone / epitestosterone level. That generally indicates testosterone, an anabolic steroid, has been added exogenously.
“I have been informed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agencythat a sample I gave at the U.S. Olympic Trials contains an elevated testosterone/epitestosterone level," Dunn's statement said. "While I work with USADA to resolve this matter, I am withdrawing from my relay pool position for the 2012 Olympic Games. I do not want any issue like this to distract from my teammates’ focus for the biggest meet of their lives. I wish Team USA best in London as I work toward resolving this matter."
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement to the Tribune that analysis of the sample Dunn gave at the Olympic trials also indicated an adverse carbon isotope ratio, which is used to determine whether exogenous testosterone is present.
“In response to Ms. Dunn’s statements, USADA appreciates Ms. Dunn voluntarily removing herself from the Olympic team while the full facts surrounding her elevated T/E ratio and adverse carbon isotope ratio analysis (CIR) are evaluated," Tygart said. "We are currently processing the B sample, and as in all cases all athletes are innocent until and unless proven otherwise through the established full, fair legal process which was approved by athletes, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and all Olympic sports organizations.”
A testosterone / epi ratio over 4:1 is considered elevated. In most men, the ratio is 1:1, and it is less than 1:1 in women.
Dunn was on the 2012 Olympic team list announced Tuesday by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
USA Track & Field spokesperson Jill Geer said it was not yet clear whether Dunn could be replaced on the Olympic team. Rosters were submitted four days ago.
"Debbie Dunn took the appropriate measures by proactively withdrawing from the Olympic Team," USATF chief executive Max Siegel said in a statement. "At this point, her case is being handled by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which will adjudicate the matter."
Dunn, a native of Jamaica who went to high school and college in the United States, had an unremarkable career until 2009, when she lowered her outdoor personal best in the 400 from 51.11 to 49.95 and qualified for her first global outdoor championship. A year later, she won the U.S. outdoor title and improved the PB to 49.64.
In 15 races over the past two seasons, her fastest time is 50.70.
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