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US judoka disqualified after failed drugs test

Nicholas Delpopolo was competing in the 73kg division but has tested positive for a banned substance.

Delpopolo.
Delpopolo.

American judoka Nicholas Delpopolo has been disqualified from the London Olympics after failing a drugs test.

The 23-year-old competed in the men’s 73kg division and was tested on July 30 after his loss to Mongolian Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal in the repechage stage.

The International Olympic Committee said Delpopolo tested positive for 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid, which is connected to cannabis consumption.

“The International Olympic Committee today announced that it has disqualified American judoka Nicholas Delpopolo from the men’s 73kg judo event of the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London,” an IOC statement read.

“Immediately after his participation in the event on 30 July, Delpopolo, 23, provided a urine sample that tested positive for the prohibited substance 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid.”

The IOC disciplinary commission that heard the case stated that Delpopolo should have his seventh-place finish rescinded, return his diploma for competing in the Games and have his accreditation withdrawn.

The International Judo Federation have been instructed to modify their results and ‘consider any further action within its own competence’.

Delpopolo admitted his guilt but claimed he had not deliberately taken a banned substance.

According to the IOC ruling, Delpopolo ‘explained that his positive test was caused by his inadvertent consumption of food (prior to his leaving for the London Olympic Games) that he did not realise had been baked with marijuana’.

Delpopolo has apologised to the United States Olympic Committee and team-mates and, according to the IOC, ‘indicated that he was embarrassed by this mistake’.

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