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competing in CrossFit sanctioned events through the 2021 season and his invitation to CrossFit Invitational has been rescinded.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:
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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 looked into ways that could improve my performance legally & within the rules, with no intention whatsoever to be a cheat. . I was taking this same supplement at The CrossFit Games as I did at The Pacific Regionals where I was drug tested?? Therefore, I didn't feel the need what so ever to change anything. I thought I was competing within the rules with no unfair advantage over others. . But, after further investigation & specific testing it has been revealed that the supplement & my limited research has failed me & I have received a positive test with a 4 year suspension. 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 matters to me. . In time, I know this may 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 & achievements from my efforts. . At 23 years old I have a lot of years left in my life, I have endured the process, I have & I will become something because of it. . In the end, I am apart of their sport “business” , The CrossFit Games. They have there own rules, guidelines & policies to abide by. I have unintentionally fucked up, their evidence has proven me guilty. I will do my time & continue to 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 legitimate drug free sport. *POST CONTINUED*
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***POST CONTINUED*** Because of this outcome I will learn a lot about myself, wipe my tears & be accountable for every single decision I make. . 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. . My sincere apologies go out to CrossFit, to all the other competitors that feel hard done by, to anyone I have affected personally & to anyone that is sharing my pain. I trust that the people that know who I truly am & are the closest to me will understand, remain loyal and be there to support me.
Image Source: Crossfit Inc