COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., January 14. THE two-year provisional suspension from non-collegiate competition handed down to Rachael Burke of Bethesda, Maryland, last July was upheld by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) today.
Burke, a distance swimmer at the University of Virginia, tested positive for a miniscule amount of boldione in an out-of-competition test May 1. She began serving a provisional suspension from competitions in July. Burke, 21, will receive credit for time served under the provisional suspension.
There is good reason to believe that Burke's positive test was the result of a tainted legitimate supplement she took with a shake before practice last spring. Several other swimmers have also been victimized in this manner and suspended from competition, but under the doctrine of strict liability, taking a prohibited substance inadvertently is not considered a valid defense.
Boldione is a substance prohibited under the rules of the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), the international swimming federation, and is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list. It is available in the US as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.