Tell me. Tell me.

Start booking your hotels, Airbnbs and plane tickets folks, the 2019 CrossFit Games will be going down from July 31 – August 4, 2019 in Madison, WI.

For reals?

Appears so. We noticed that the Alliant Energy Center published the dates on their website the other day. And just in case they take the page down, you can see it here and here.

There’s been a lot of speculation around how the 2019 Games will pan out with the increased number of participants and elimination rounds. Details remain scarce at this time. The Alliant Energy Center confirmed those dates in an email as accurate. CrossFit HQ also said that is the correct weekend but that the actual start date has not been confirmed yet. Presumably because they’re still working out how the new format will affect timing.

You can see the full 2019 Games season calendar here.

OK cool. Anything else?

Yes actually. Last night, CrossFit HQ released the names of two 2018 CrossFit Games athletes who failed drug tests: Kelli Holm and Shawn Ramirez.

A four-time Masters champion of the 40-44 division, Ramirez has been a staple at the CrossFit Games since 2014 and widely considered a model athlete for an aging community showing that age is just a number.

Ramirez took to Instagram last night to defend himself, saying: “I would NEVER take anything to jeopardize everything I worked so hard to achieve these last 5 years. The only thing that makes any sense is that there was a contaminated substance that I was taking. All the products I was taking are 100% natural. I am personally paying out of my pocket to continue my appeal, and have all the 8 products I was taking tested. I will disclose all of these, which I already did to CF which they stated were all legal and be 100% transparent with everyone this week.”

Ramirez, who took second in the men’s 40-44 division behind Neal Maddox, will be stripped of his medal and receive a four-year ban. Holm, who took fourth in the women’s 35-39 division, will be banned for two years. Both tested positive for GW1516, aka Endurobol, which is one of the drugs Ricky Garard also tested positive for in 2017.

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