Joanna Blair, a javelin thrower representing Great Britain internationally, insisted that she was only taking creatine and never knowingly used anabolic steroids. When Blair tested positive for metabolites of Dianabol (methandienone), she was left in the difficult position of proving that she was not to blame.
Blair and her attorney Jason Torrance formulated a strategy to blame a contaminated creatine monohydrate supplement for the steroid positiive drug test result. Specifically, Blair identified PhD Creatine Monohydrate Powder manufactured by PhD Nutrition Limited in Willerby and purchased from the internet retailer MonsterSupplements.com.
“I and my legal representative have investigated the source of the prohibited substance and it has been confirmed that a creatine supplement I had been using was contaminated,” according to the statement released by Blair last year. “Before I began using this supplement, I checked the ingredients to ensure this product was safe to use and, having satisfied myself that it was, had been using it for a number of years.”
Blair appealed her provisional suspension arising from a urine sample collected at the 2017 European Team Championships in Lille on June 24, 2017. The sample was analyzed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory Drug Control Centre at Kings College London. The laboratory identified an adverse analytical finding for the presence of the methandienone metabolite – 17β-hydroxy-17α-methylandrosta-1,4-dien-3-one.
UKAD remained skeptical of Blair’s claim that her creatine felt like D-Bol since it actually contained D-Bol. UKAD conducted an exhaustive investigation that began with the independent collection of several unopened bottles of PhD Creatine Monohydrate Powder with the same batch number from multiple sources. Analyses of the unopened creatine bottles failed to detect the presence of methandienone or any other prohibited substance.
UKAD continued its investigation by contacting various entities involved in the manufacturing and distribution chain of PhD Creatine Monohydrate Powder. This included the contract manufacturer Herbs in a Bottle which supplied the finished product to PhD Nutrition. It also included Cambridge Commumities Limited who supplied the raw materials to Herbs in a Bottle.
UKAD concluded that the PhD Creatine Monohydrate Powder had not been contaminated during the manufacturing process. UKAD agreed that it was plausible that the product had been tampered with after it had been purchased and that the Dianabol had been deliberately introduced to Blair’s creatine. Blair denied tampering with the product but left open the possibility that one of her clients could have done so for some unknown reason.
Ultimately, the three-member anti-doping panel concluded that Blair failed to prove that she “acted without significant fault or negligence”. The panel dismissed Blair’s appeal and supported UKAD’s proposed period of ineligibility of four years beginning retroactively on July 20, 2017 and ending on July 19, 2021.
BAN | Javelin thrower, Joanna Blair, has been suspended from all sport for a period of four years following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV).
— UK Anti-Doping (@ukantidoping) August 3, 2018