In a recent announcement by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Wyatt Davis, a former World Junior champion and Michigan Wolverine, has been handed a three-month suspension following a positive test for a cannabis-related substance. The test was conducted in June 2023, and the suspension was officially declared on January 16th, 2024.
At 22 years old, Davis was found to have levels of 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (Carboxy-THC), a primary psychoactive component of cannabis, marijuana, and hashish, exceeding the permissible limit in a drug test. This test was administered during the U.S. National Championships on June 30th, 2023.
Davis, known for his exceptional swimming prowess, demonstrated notable performances at the U.S. Nationals. He secured third place in the men's 50 backstroke with a time of 24.62 seconds and sixth in the 100 backstroke at 53.43 seconds, both personal bests. Additionally, he finished 18th in the 200 backstroke and 34th in the 100 butterfly.
The implications of his positive test are significant. Davis has been stripped of all competitive results commencing from June 30th, 2023. This decision particularly affects his 100 backstroke performance at the Nationals, as it falls under the disqualification timeline. His performances in the 200 backstroke, 50 backstroke, and 100 butterfly remain unaffected as they occurred before June 30.
The three-month suspension period for Davis began on January 2nd, 2024, the date he accepted the sanction. During the interim period, while the case was under review, USADA found that Davis breached his provisional suspension by participating in activities under the governance of USA Swimming. Consequently, the time spent under provisional suspension will not be credited towards his ineligibility period.
Davis argued that his use of cannabis occurred out-of-competition and was not related to enhancing sport performance. This claim, accepted by USADA, allowed for a reduction in his sanction, adhering to the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code. This code classifies THC as a "Substance of Abuse," permitting reduced penalties under certain circumstances.
Since the U.S. Nationals, Davis has not participated in any competitive swimming events, although he is still listed as a senior on the University of Michigan's team roster for the 2023-24 season. His suspension will conclude on April 2nd, 2024, resulting in him missing the entire college swimming season.
This case mirrors a similar incident from 2021 involving former University of Texas sprinter Tate Jackson, who received a one-month suspension from USADA for a positive THC test. Notably, athletes can have their suspension period reduced to one month if they successfully complete a Substance of Abuse treatment program approved by USADA.
Before joining the University of Michigan in the 2020-21 season, Davis had a distinguished career, including a gold medal in the boys' 200 backstroke and a silver in the 50 backstroke at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Indianapolis.
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