LOS ANGELES (AFP) – United States (US) swimmer Conor Dwyer (pic below), a two-time Olympic gold medallist, has been suspended 20 months for doping after an arbitration panel found he had testosterone pellets implanted in his body, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said on Friday.
USADA had sought a four-year ban after Dwyer tested positive in out-of-competition tests collected on November 15, November 27 and December 20 of 2018.
But an independent three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association ruled a 20-month suspension was appropriate in light of the fact that Dwyer relied on outside medical advice when he allowed the treatment, in which the pellets are inserted under the skin near the hip.
According the arbitrators, Dwyer “thought of it more as a treatment relating to his mental health, and unrelated to his physical performance in sport, in the way it was presented to him”.
The suspension of Dwyer, who won relay gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio games and 200m freestyle bronze in Rio, is dated from December 21, 2018, the date his provisional suspension was imposed pending arbitration.
He withdrew from the 2019 US World Championships team, and he will not be eligible to swim at the 2020 US Olympic trials before his suspension ends in August of next year.