Breaking: Ocean State’s Finest Face Disqualification After Failed Drug Test

July 10, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Athlete’s Eye Photography
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In an exclusive interview with Morning Chalk Up, Ray Fleser of Ocean State’s Finest, admitted to taking Ibutamoren, a SARM compound and a banned substance, after both he and his wife received notifications that both had failed drug tests administered after qualifying for the CrossFit Games by finishing fifth at the Granite Games. 

What he said: “This is something I did on my own, not thinking I was going to compete again, which was wrong and disrespectful to my teammates because they did and now I cost them that so I just want to take responsibility for that. I want to apologize to my team.”

  • Fleser said he started taking Ibutamoren, a SARM compound, Pure Mass which includes Testolone, Ligandrol and Ostarine and Adderall about a year and a half ago as he was no longer looking to compete professionally, but stopped once they qualified for Granite Games.
  • “I never really thought much of the season. I said, ‘okay I’m going to compete with my wife Ashleigh and my friends Tristan (Maiorano) and my friend Christine (Middleton) they’re my good friends and training partners, we make a pretty good team and we’re going to have fun this year and see how this season goes,” Fleser said.
  • “All of a sudden a few weeks before Granite Games, it’s like, ‘oh you’re going to Granite Games and you’re seeded in third.’ And then I’m like, ‘oh shit.’”
  • His team was unaware he ever took the SARMs, according to Fleser. 

So why did he even put his name on the roster in the first place after taking the compound during both the Open and Quarterfinals?

  • “In hindsight, that’s definitely my mistake. That’s 100%, no justification, my mistake. I know what I was thinking at the time and why I did certain things at the time, and I think when most people make a mistake the question is always, ‘oh if you could go back and do things differently,’ of course I would have…I like being big and strong and coaching and getting big and strong had been my focus. And that took my focus away from what should have had my focus when I agreed to be on a team. If I could go back, I would have continued to take the supplements and not put my name on a roster.”

One big thing: While Fleser openly admitted to taking the banned substance, he was adamant that his wife never took the SARM compound, going so far as to suggest that their urine samples were mixed up in the testing process. 

  • “I truly believe Ashleigh is taking the blame for a mix-up of samples…I’m owning up what I took but they’re pinning it on my wife…my wife didn’t take anything, I know she didn’t take anything.”
  • On June 29, Fleser received an email from CrossFit titled “Failed Drug Test,” But to his surprise, it was his wife Ashleigh who tested positive, not him.
  • Ashleigh filed an appeal and told CrossFit they may have made a mistake and mixed her and her husband’s samples. 
  • Just a few days later, Ray received an email from CrossFit saying he now tested positive for SARM components.

On Saturday evening, CrossFit announced they have sent a Games invitation to the sixth placed team, 12 Labours Lions, “following the disqualification of fifth place team, Ocean States Finest.” In the statement, CrossFit says the samples provided by both Ray and Ashleigh Fleser contained prohibited substances.

  • 12 Labours Lions Team Captain, Jeff Milam did say they’d accept their invite and are prepared to compete should CrossFit extend one: “We will accept our invite.  We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to show what we know we are capable of.”

For what it’s worth: This is the second team that qualified through a semifinal event to fail a drug test this season. Last month, Janelle Stites, a member of Team on Track who qualified through the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, was pinged testing positive during an out of season competition back in 2019 for Ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM). A four year suspension was put in effect from the testing date, making her ineligible for competition until January 21, 2023.

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