CrossFit HQ announced today that Greek national champion Lefteris Theofanidis was in breach of CrossFit’s drug testing policy. Theofanidis placed third in the CrossFit Open worldwide and tested positive for a banned substance during the 2019 Dubai CrossFit Championship in December. The announcement didn’t say what substances were found, but the national champion is appealing the results, a step commonly taken by athletes in breach.
One big thing: How exactly this will affect backfilling remains unclear. The rulebook says nothing about what would happen if a national champion is in breach of the drug policy.
- Section 4.02: “CrossFit, Inc. will only backfill a national champion spot if the national champion decides to compete as a member of a team that will be competing at the Games.”
- The rulebook states that the position will not be backfilled if the athlete declines or doesn’t “complete all workouts as prescribed.”
- Nothing is said about a drug policy breach, however.
- The spot would go to fellow Greek athlete Giorgos Karavis, who also finished 34th worldwide, if HQ decided to backfill the position.
- At 34th worldwide, Karavis is actually next in line to receive an invite if another top 20 athlete declined to go team or otherwise declined.
- Theofanidis was set to compete at this past weekend’s CrossFit Strength in Depth Sanctional but did not travel to London, England.
In the second year of the national champion system, Theofanidis isn’t the first in breach of the policy. Four national champions tested positive at the 2019 CrossFit Games. Sadly, he is the second Greek national champion to do so in as many years.
- Gabor Torok (Hungary)
- Anna Fragkou (Greece)
- Achilleas Pantazis (Cyprus)
- Franky Wood (Honduras)
Unapologetic Theofanidis: Unlike past athletes who have taken to social media to explain, apologize or defend their positive test results, Theofanidis has taken a different approach. In a series of stories on his official Instagram account, he quoted Tupac Shakur’s “Only God Can Judge Me.” Soon after HQ’s announcement, he posted in a series of stories “I Don’t”, “Give”, “A Shit,” a clear shot at the results and the backlash he has received since the announcement. In his Instagram post, he quoted Ultimate Fighting Championship star Conor McGregor by saying “I would like to apologize to absolutely nobody.”
- “Under Fire, Lefteris Theofanidis’ 20.3 Video Receives Backlash”
- “Deep Inside the Laboratory Testing CrossFit Games’ Athletes for PEDs”
Chad Schroeder contributed to this story. It’s 9:54 AM on Thursday, September 5. I pull up to the UCLA…