When the U.S. heads to Tokyo for the Summer Olympics in a few weeks, former Olympian and record-setting runner Shelby Houlihan will not be among them.
According to ESPN, Houlihan’s name has been removed from the Olympic trials list for track & field. As a result, she will not be participating in Friday’s trials and cannot qualify for the Summer Olympics.
Houlihan was recently handed a four-year ban after testing positive for trace amounts of nandrolone, a performance enhancing substance. Initially, USA Track & Field said that it would allow Houlihan to compete during her appeals. But they soon reversed that decision.
As a defense, Houlihan attributed her failed test to food she ate that could have contained the substance. She firmly denied doping or cheating in any way.
“I’ve never taken any performance-enhancing substances and that includes the one of which I have been accused,” Houlihan said in a statement. “I believe doping and cheating is weak… I would never disrespect the sport, my competitors, my teammates, my coaches, my family and my fans this way.”
But that assertion has not yet manifested itself into a formal appeal against the ban.
Shelby Houlihan, the American record holder in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters, posted on social media that she’s been banned for four years following a positive test for what she concluded was a tainted pork burrito. https://t.co/BSVXkiB64P
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 15, 2021
Shelby Houlihan holds the U.S. records for the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runs, which she achieved in 2019 and 2020 respectively. She set the record for the 4 x 1,500-meter relay with Colleen Quigley, Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer in 2020.
Houlihan represented the United States at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She qualified for the 5,000-meter final but finished fourth – still the highest finish for an American in the race.
At the amateur level, Houlihan was a 12-time All-American at Arizona State and an NCAA track champion. She still holds records at the school in multiple categories.
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