CrossFit Games

Two More Games Athletes Receive Drug Sanctions, 4 Year Suspensions

December 4, 2021 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit LLC
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Late Friday evening CrossFit announced two more athletes would officially be receiving four year suspensions from CrossFit Games competition as a result of positive drug tests for banned substances. 

The announcement brings the total number of athletes sanctioned during the 2021 calendar year to 10, following the appeals of both athletes and subsequent denial of those appeals by CrossFit. 

  • Bernard Luzi, winner of the men’s 50-54 division at the 2021 Games was previously announced to have tested positive for meldonium, a banned substance classified as a hormone and metabolic modulator. Luzi was tested at the Games on July 29, the final day of competition, and the effective start date of his suspension.
  • Svetlana Kubyshkina, an 2021 individual qualifier out of the Asia continent, tested positive for methenolone and its metabolite, furosemide, and trimetazidine. Methenolone is an anabolic steroid classified as an anabolic agent. Furosemide is listed in the class of diuretics and masking agents, and trimetazidine is classified as a hormone and metabolic modulator. 

Kubyshkina was unable to compete at the 2021 Games due to travel restrictions stemming from issues obtaining a visa. She was tested out-of-competition following the Games on August 28, which is the official start date of her suspension. 

  • The Russian native previously competed in the Open for three seasons prior to 2021, but the quarterfinals this season marked the first time she advanced in the season beyond the Open before winning the CrossFit Asia Invitational.
  • She has previously competed on a national level in Russia for weightlifting, and on the Russian national team for at the 2019 World Championships for the International Functional Fitness Federation.

There has yet to be a public announcement, but the failed appeal and suspension of Luzi means he will forfeit his win at the 2021 Games, making runner-up Kevin Koester the champion of the division for a third time. Late last month Koester posted the news and correspondence from CrossFit to his social media.

  • Luzi, a native of Italy, is the second current or former masters champion to be sanctioned during the 2021 season. Four champions in total from the masters divisions have received drug sanctions since 2018. 

The big picture: While double-digit drug sanctions may seem like a considerable amount, the number more so reflects a return to more consistent and steady testing year-round following the tumultuous 2020 season. For reference, 17 athletes will be returning from suspensions in the 2022 calendar year that were handed down during 2018. 

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