Madisyn Cox Eligible to Compete After Source For Banned Substance Found in Multivitamin

Madisyn Cox
Madisyn Cox

Madisyn Cox, elite swimmer from the United States and the University of Texas, released the following statement to Swimming World concerning her case being overturned by the Court of Arbitration (CAS) when she proved that the banned substance she ingested was found in a multivitamin called Cooper Complete Elite Athlete.  In a complete act of transparency and innocence she proved to CAS that she listed the multivitamin as a product she was ingesting on her doping control forms back in February of 2018.

During her suspension and appeal, Cox was ineligible to compete.  As a result, Cox was not able to qualify for the 2019 World Championship even though she is one of the world’s fastest swimmers.  The decision by United States Swimming to hold their World Championship trials one year in advance places more consequences on the entire ordeal.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport made public earlier today that my period of ineligibility has been reduced to six months from a start date of March 3, 2018. Consequently, I’m able to return to competition September 3rd. CAS issued this “consent award” after I was able to establish a source for the banned substance. A multivitamin that I had consistently declared on my doping control form was found – after testing – to contain traces of Trimetazidine, the substance detected in a urine sample provided on February 5, 2018.

In the aftermath of the original FINA two year ban, I wholeheartedly believed that contaminated water was the source of the Trimetazidine. I thought I had eliminated almost every other possible source. While considering whether to appeal FINA’s decision, I sent the multivitamin I’d been taking since my senior year in high school to a WADA-accredited lab to be tested for contamination (in cooperation with FINA and USADA). I was beyond shocked and relieved when 4 nanograms of Trimetazidine was detected in tablets from both open and sealed bottles of the multivitamin. Though the amount was microscopic, it was enough to trigger a positive test result at WADA’s gold standard lab in Montreal, though it could never have provided any performance enhancing benefit.

I did not immediately test the multivitamin as part of my FINA case because there had never been a recorded case of Trimetazidine supplement contamination in the United States. I mistakenly assumed that the supplement I was taking was extremely safe. I had been taking this multivitamin for seven years, had listed it on every doping control form since making the U.S. National team in 2014 and entering the registered athlete testing pool, and had tested clean and without incident more than 20 times during that period.

The last six months have been a grave and harrowing learning experience that I would not wish on any honest, clean, elite athlete. I know that any supplement – even a multivitamin purported to contain only those ingredients specified on the label and purchased at a local supermarket – can be suspect.

I would advise any athlete who chooses to take supplements to not only consult resources such as USADA’s Supplement 411, but to also make sure that they are third party batch tested to check for any contamination.

I am excited to return to the pool. I also appreciate the support so many people have shown me throughout this trying ordeal.

According to the CAS Ruling on appeal it was determined that Trimetazidine was found in a product called Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin.  Cox listed that she was taking this vitamin on her doping control form back in February of 2018.

After having been notified of the Appealed Decision, the Athlete, in an efforti to 100% eliminate the possibility that any of the supplements she was taking were the source, decided to test the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin she was taking prior to her 5 February 2018 test (along with some other remaining supplements). She had not tested the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin or her other supplements as part of her FINA case because there had never been a recorded case of Trimetazidine sup­plement contamination and the supplements she was taking seemed extremely safe and clean. The Athlete had been taking the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin without incident for 7 years and had tested negative 20 plus times over that span.

With the cooperation of both FINA and USADA, the Athlete sent two bottles of the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin to be tested ( one opened, one sealed) at the SMRTL WADA-accredited lab in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Trimetazidine was detected at approximately 4 nanograms per tablet in both the opened and sealed bottles of the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin.  The athlete had declared the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin on her 5 February 2018 dop­ing control form and had also documented her use of the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin in her food log prepared in the aftermath of her positive test. 

Read CAS Ruling

More on Madisyn Cox


Madisyn Cox Given Two Year Doping Suspension

U.S. National Team swimming Madisyn Cox has been handed a two year doping suspension according to a report that appeared on FINA’s website. The doping panel decision details that Cox tested positive

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5 years ago

what is name of the tainted drink so others can stay away?

5 years ago

Great news. But timing still sucks due to the idiotic decision to select the World Champs team a full year in advance

5 years ago

I have filled Madyson’s career since college and have been so happy to see her progress. This is excellent news for such a great role model to young swimmers!! Good luck, Madyson!!

Kelly Selch Zancanaro
5 years ago

It’s heartbreaking that the honest athletes are sadly assumed not honest unless they prove otherwise…months of competition and opportunity lost because there are those that actually are dishonest. I applaud her determination to find the truth and clear her name. Just sad that she has lost out on events she would have crushed as a natural athlete. May she move forward and continue to show the world her talents and greatness♥️

Katie Lord
5 years ago

Horrible situation for this elite swimmer. Such a shame she missed important qualifying meets.

Andrew Webber
5 years ago

What dummy let her take multivitamin tablets anyway?

John Fellows
5 years ago

USA Swimming should consider adding Madisyn to Worlds team and, if needed, petition FINA to bring her as an additional member of the team. We need to attempt to right the wrong.

Jim Christian
Jim Christian
5 years ago

If I were Madisyn, I’d be having a conversation with the manufacturer of that multivitamin.

Andrew Webber
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim Christian

That looks like the problem, those things aren’t regulated well enough, not to mention just aren’t worth taking. Why roll that dice?

Nancy Smith Wilson
5 years ago

It’s about time!

Sara Guido
5 years ago

Sigh ?

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