Arbitrator overturns Gil Roberts' drug ban after sprinter's 'kissing' defense


Gil Roberts, who won Rio Olympic gold on the USA men's 4x400-meter relay, was cleared of doping after an arbitrator found he ingested a banned substance by kissing his girlfriend. It's not just the kissing he said was responsible. He was charged with violation of doping laws, following a recent test, taken by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Roberts said his girlfriend got pills to treat a sinus infection from a "makeshift" pharmacy while on a trip in India and kept taking them in the U.S. Roberts said he gave her a smooch just before providing his urine sample and that medicine must have tainted it. She returned home and saw Roberts while still taking the medication Moxylong, which contained probenecid. Moreover, Roberts did not remember tasting medicine or anything weird when he smooched his girlfriend.

"Roberts could not count the number of times they kissed between 1 p.m. and the doping control officer's arrival [at 4:07 p.m.]", Thomas wrote.

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Last month, an independent arbitrator cleared Roberts of any wrongdoing, which allowed him to compete in the USATF Outdoor Championships.

While Roberts's story may sound unique, this is not the first time kissing has led an athlete to fail a doping test. "Roberts has met his burden of proof". Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber blamed his positive drug test before the 2016 Olympics on kissing a woman who had consumed cocaine, and in 2009, tennis player Richard Gasquet said he was partying and kissed a woman with cocaine on her lips.

In a similar case, world pole vault champion Shawn Barber was cleared a year ago of a positive test for cocaine.