The CrossFit world was shocked to learn that 2017 CrossFit Games third place finisher, Ricky Garard, has tested positive for banned performance-enhancing substances.
CrossFit HQ has stripped him of his third place title and he will lose the $76,000 he won for his third place finish and his first place finishes in the Madison Triplet and Cyclocross events. He will be banned from competing in CrossFit sanctioned events through the 2021 season and his invitation to CrossFit Invitational has been rescinded.
Garard tested positive for testolone and a beta-2 agonist known as endurobol.
With his disqualification, Patrick Vellner becomes the official third place finisher of the 2017 CrossFit Games. That makes it back-to-back third place finishes for Vellner. In addition, he will receive a bump in his payout for finishing third along with every athlete behind him moving up a place.
This is the first time a CrossFit Games podium finisher has tested positive for PEDs. The sports top athletes are tested year round but since Garard was a rookie he wasn’t in that pool of testing.
This goes to show that CrossFit HQ is committed to providing a level playing field by strongly enforcing their anti-doping policy. It’s a necessity to protect the integrity of the sport.
Any athlete who used performance-enhancing drugs is directly attacking his fellow competitors, our community and our sport. It is our responsibility, along with the athletes themselves, to identify those threats and remove them. As the heads of the sport, we will do our part to provide the means necessary to ensure this continues to happen. – Justin Bergh, General Manager of the CrossFit Games
Ricky Garard’s response:
As you can appreciate my world has come crashing down, it is heart breaking & it's hard to comprehend that I am in this position. On the pursuit of becoming all I could be as a CrossFit athlete, I have obviously taken the rules & boundaries to the very edge. I looked into, researched & was willing to dabble into ways that could improve my performance legally & within the rules, with no intention whatsoever to be a cheat. I was taking the same supplement at The CrossFit Games as I did at The Pacific Regionals. Therefore, I didn't feel the need to change anything. I thought I was legitimately competing within the rules with no unfair advantage over others. But, after further investigation & very specific testing it has been revealed that my research has failed me & I have received a positive test for SARMS. To be clear this supplement was taken in tablet form with nothing ever injected. Everyone in life makes mistakes, it's how you learn from them that separates the great from the mediocre. These actions don't define me, this sport doesn't define me. It's the lessons & growth of my character that truly matter. In time, I know this will be the best thing that ever happened to me. I wanted the title, I wanted to win & I was willing to do everything in my power to achieve that goal. Not for one second should you take away the hard work, sacrifice & dedication of my efforts. At 23 years old I have a lot of years left in my life, I have endured the process & I have become something because of it. In the end, I am apart of their sport, The CrossFit Games. They have rules, guidelines & policies to abide by. I have unintentionally fucked up, their evidence has proven me guilty & I will own my actions day by day for the rest of my life. I really hope The CrossFit Games continues to tighten up their testing procedures, enforce the same level of strictness to all other competitors like they have to me & they continue to strive towards a legit drug free sport. It's tough to be on the receiving end when I saw a top athlete at the CrossFit Games intentionally out smart the system, getting away with it & ruining the integrity of the sport… POST CONTINUED*
***POST CONTINUED*** Because of this outcome I will learn a lot about myself, wipe my tears & be accountable for every single decision I make in this life. Ultimately that is what it means to be a man. I am reminding myself that sometimes life seems to be destroying you when it's actually saving you, time will only reveal what it's saving me from? Haters will hate, and that's ok. They are entitled to express their insecurities to the world. I will focus & deal with what is within my control. This news is heavy, it's real, but I will get myself together and keep moving forward. Sorry to anyone I have affected personally & sorry to anyone that is sharing my pain. I trust that the people closest to me will understand, remain loyal and be there to support me. I am coming to terms that nothing will ever be given to me in life, I know how to earn it the hard way & I will do just that for whatever it is I pursue next. .
Image Source: Crossfit Inc