CrossFit Denies Lize Burns’ Appeal; Receives 4-Year Suspension

CrossFit announced today that Lize Burns has received a 4-year suspension. The announcement comes after Burns appealed the decision claiming the sample that contained metabolites of GW1516 was not hers.

Burns’ team, CrossFit Commit Okavango, took 1st place at the Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal in May. Following the competition, Burns and her teammates were required to take a drug test.

Weeks later CrossFit notified Burns that she had failed her in-competition drug test. The problem is that the doping control form tied to the failed drug test is listed as “SA Male Athlete 3”. But, Burns is a female.

CrossFit acknowledged there was a clerical error and that Burns was accidentally given a form intended for a male athlete, something that Burns denies. She claimed she never signed a form that referred to her as a male and that she signed a form for the alias “SA Female Athlete 2”.

Following the official announcement of the failed drug test, Burns joined Andrew Hiller to share her side of the story. During the interview, she said, “Michelle Merand, she was the 1st individual athlete to be tested. She won the individual category. And she is ‘SA Female Athlete 3’. So who the f*ck is ‘SA Female 2’?”

Now, almost four months since the Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal and the in-competition drug test, CrossFit stands by its original announcement. They stated that after a “thorough investigation” by the CrossFit Games team, it was concluded that it was Burns’ sample that was found to contain metabolites of GW1516.

CrossFit did not provide any additional information about the investigation.

Burns has received a 4-year ban from CrossFit competitions until May 29, 2026.


Burns’ team CrossFit Commit Okavango was disqualified after Burns’ initial drug test. The 2nd place team, CrossFit Tijger Valley Unit, was also disqualified prior to the CrossFit Games after team member Pieter Smith tested positive for RAD140, a banned substance. 

Because of the two failed drug tests, South Africa did not send a team to compete at this year’s CrossFit Games.

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