USADA bans New Zealand cyclist Olivia Ray for two and a half years

USADA bans New Zealand cyclist Olivia Ray for two and a half years

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Olivia Ray, a 24-year-old racer from New Zealand, received a a two-and-a-half-year suspension for anti-doping rule violations involving her use and possession of multiple prohibited substances, USADA confirmed Thursday.

Ray’s 30-month ban was retroactively imposed since March 10, the date of her provisional suspension, officials said.

A whistleblower tipped off the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in December 2021 about suspicions surrounding Ray, a rising sprint and criterium rider who was living and competing in the United States at the time.

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USADA opened an investigation and eventually confronted Ray, who fully cooperated, officials said.

“This case demonstrates the power of investigations in the fight to protect sport and athletes’ rights,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said Thursday. “As always, we will thoroughly investigate and act on evidence of doping violations, and greatly appreciate the assistance of those who come forward on behalf of clean sport.”

Officials said Ray admitted she was provided prohibited substances by another athlete identified as Jackson “Huntley” Nash, who was her then-boyfriend and a former racer on the U.S. domestic crit circuit. Nash received a lifetime ban from USADA earlier this year.

Officials said Ray committed the following anti-doping rule violations in 2021:

  • Use of the prohibited substances Human Growth Hormone (hGH), clenbuterol, and oxandrolone.
  • Possession of the prohibited substances clenbuterol and oxandrolone.

Ray broke rules under USADA, Olympic, and UCI, all of which operate under the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Because Ray cooperated with investigators and immediately admitted to the rule violations, USADA said Ray qualified for a one-year reduction to the otherwise applicable four-year period of ineligibility.

USADA also granted Ray an additional six-month reduction for providing assistance in the case against Nash.

Officials also said Ray’s competitive results on and after May 17, 2021, the date Nash accused Ray of using hGH and/or other prohibited substances, have been disqualified, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

Ray won the New Zealand national road title in February, and the Into The Lion’s Den criterium last fall in California.

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