Canadian Markus Thormeyer Suspended for Doping Violation

Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

Canadian Markus Thormeyer Suspended for Doping Violation

Canadian Markus Thormeyer has been suspended from competition for the last year for a failed doping test, Canadian authorities announced on Friday.

The occasion marks 10 days until the two-time Olympian’s period of ineligibility ends, on Feb. 14, 2023. The announcement was made by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES) in a statement Friday.

Thormeyer tested positive for an anabolic agent, SARM LGD-4033, in an out-of-competition urine test on Jan. 19, 2022.  He accepted a provisional suspension in early February, and went through an arbitration in which it was found he unknowingly ingested the prohibited substance. The reason for the SARM entering his system was Thormeyer drinking from a water bottle that his partner had used that was contaminated by the offending substance.

At a meeting with an arbitrator on Oct. 5, Thormeyer and the Canadian Anti-Doping Program filed cases recommending a 12-month period of ineligibility. That led to a finding of “no significant fault or negligence,” which allowed him to avoid what CCES lists as its mandatory sanction for “First violation for non-intentional presence of specified substances: two years (10.2.2).” The tribunal cited his lack of prior doping offenses, his advocacy in the LGBTQ community and his studies toward a Ph.D. in its rationale.

Thormeyer is not – that is, he was not – eligible to compete in any capacity with Swimming Canada during that period. (As part of his testimony to the anti-doping tribunal, Thormeyer revealed that he was suffering from burnout after the Tokyo Olympics and had intended to take a step back from swimming until at least the summer of 2022.)

Thormeyer’s arbitration was submitted in early October and was signed Nov. 9, 2022.

Thormeyer, 25, had been one of the leading lights of the Canadian program during the 2016 and early parts of the 2021 Olympic cycles, as other younger swimmers developed behind him. He won relay medals at World Championships in 2016 and 2017 (short- and long-course, respectively) and took bronze in the 100 back at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He was Swimming Canada’s Male Swimmer of the Year in 2018 and 2019.

At the 2016 Olympics, Thormeyer was part of the 400 free relay that made the final. He didn’t make it out of prelims in the 100 back at the Tokyo Games in 2021 and finished 16th in semis in the 200 back. He was part of the Canadian 400 free relay that set a national record in finishing fourth in finals.