Banned CrossFit Athlete Nasser Alruwayeh Wins Event Three Months After Positive Drug Test

October 26, 2022 by and
Photo credit: @WODMayhem Instagram
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Kuwait’s Nasser Alruwayeh, the runner-up at the 2022 Far East Throwdown, received a four year ban after testing positive for GW1516 (also known as cardarine and endurobol), a metabolic modulator. Three months following his failed drug test, Alruwayeh took first place in a local, non-licensed event. 

The details: Alruwayeh competed at WOD Mayhem, which promotes itself as “Bahrain’s Premier Fitness Event.”  

  • WOD Mayhem is organized by CrossFit HQ employee Ahmed Alsharaf, who is a member of the CrossFit Seminar Staff, and owner of CrossFit Delmon in Barbar, Bahrain. 
  • Alruwayeh still denies any knowledge of taking the banned substance and is in the process of appealing the decision. He has not been cleared for tainted supplements or medication, but was allowed to compete and win prize money. 

One big thing: Alruwayeh is banned from competing in all official CrossFit events, including the Open or any licensed event. WOD Mayhem is an independent event, meaning Alruwayeh was not in violation for competing in this competition. 

The controversy: Allowing a banned athlete to compete and win prize money is already a touchy subject to begin with, but having the event being organized and run by a CrossFit HQ employee definitely muddies the waters on this controversial topic.  

What they’re saying: Event organizer Ahmed Alsharaf spoke with The Morning Chalk Up regarding Alruwayeh’s participation in WOD Mayhem. 

  • “We had a small local event and we don’t see a reason to ban anyone from competing. At the end of the day we are not here to judge anyone but hope to allow individuals to redeem themselves,” said Alsharaf. 
  • “Everyone deserves a second chance, especially if they’re going under the appeals process. The local athletes attending took it as a challenge to beat him and they got very close,” said Alsharaf. 

Alsharaf mentioned that they’ve received positive feedback from all competitors and the competition was a close race for first place at one point in the competition. 

The bottom line: Is it a conflict of interest that the event organizer works for CrossFit HQ? Alsharaf may not have violated any parameters of Alruwayeh’s ban, but did allow him to take the top prize purse just three months after his initial failed test. The CrossFit Games team continues to make updates to the structure of the qualification process, while updating and refining the rulebook. Could this ethical gray area be a topic that is addressed by HQ in the future?

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