Shawn Ramirez is Back– “2.0 Style” – After Serving Four-Year Sanction

December 1, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Shawn Ramirez
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When four-time CrossFit Games masters champion Shawn Ramirez received a four-year sanction after a positive drug test at the 2018 CrossFit Games he thought he would walk away from the sport for good.

He spent the next little while appealing the positive test, which “was not cheap,” as it involved having the seven supplements he was taking at the time tested for contaminants.

Sure enough, the sixth supplement he had tested—VitaminB12 droplets he was taking for recovery—was contaminated, which explained the metabolites of GW1515 found in his sample.

Though he appealed, and then took legal action that was eventually settled in court, CrossFit LLC maintained the four-year ruling against Ramirez.

“It was clearly contamination and I proved that, and CrossFit never came back and said it was proven,” said Ramirez, now 48. Instead, they told him his appeal “went over the time (limit).”

“They wanted to stick to their guns no matter what I revelaved,” he added. 

As a result, Ramirez was exhausted from trying to prove his case, exhausted by people on social media “slinging the mud” at him, and also exhausted from the sport in general.

“It was a lot. I was tired of it. I just wanted to be a dad. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted from competing all those years…it just wears on you,” he said.

At that point, he thought he was done. 

What Happened Next

Ramirez stepped away from the sport he loved, devoted himself to his family, including his three children, and to his career as an Athletic Director of a High School. 

He stopped CrossFit and started pursuing other activities, from beach volleyball to mountain biking to swimming and rowing. He even made an appearance on American Ninja Warrior. 

When he did go to the gym, he focussed mostly on bodybuilding -style training—”bicep curls all day,” he said—and continued doing some simple bodyweight gymnastics here and there.

“I still stayed in the world of fitness, but just not CrossFit,” he explained.

Though Ramirez said it was hard to get over what happened to him, he also said he enjoyed the break from the sport, and the time he spent with his family he “wouldn’t trade for the world.”

Four Years Later

After four years of sitting on the sidelines, Ramirez started to feel the itch to compete again. Something told him “it’s that time again,” he said. 

So he decided to throw his name in the hat at the recent Masters Fitness Collective Championship in Fort Wayne, Indiana. And although he felt half-prepared and not nearly up to his best CrossFit-wise, he still managed to place third against a competitive field.

Ramirez admitted that going into the competition he didn’t know what to expect competing for the first time in four years, but coming out of it he knows exactly what he wants: To get back to the CrossFit Games this summer.

“Being at the Masters Collective, I was like, ‘Wow.’ This is what I love. Being around good people. And I missed it,” he said. 

He still has a ton of work to do to be competitive against the best men in the world in his division this summer, he said, but he just can’t help himself. He is wired to want to be at the top.

“Will I be satisfied making the top 10 and being outside the top five? Absolutely not,” Ramirez said.

“If I’m healthy and I do the work leading up to it, then the results will speak for themselves. Am I going for the top? Absolutely,” he added.

That being said, Ramirez also knows a lot has changed in four years. There are new competitors who are much stronger than the field was four years ago, and he’ll be 49 in the summer competing against 45 year-olds.

But if history predicts the future, then it’s safe to say Ramirez will be in the mix. 

“This is the Ram 2.0. I’m coming,” he said.

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