Last week CrossFit announced that Svetlana Veselova, a 35-39 year-old Masters athlete, failed an in-competition at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Veselova received a 4-year sanction for violating CrossFit’s drug policy.
Following the announcement, Veselova took to Instagram and shared her side of the story. According to Veselova, she had emergency surgery on June 20 and was prescribed meldonium. She notified CrossFit after this to tell them she had taken the banned substance as prescribed by her doctors and provided all certificates and documents that were requested (presumably by CrossFit).
It is unclear, but it appears that CrossFit never responded to Svetlana following the submission of documentation and allowed her to compete. Yet, according to Svetlana she said that CrossFit deemed her argument for taking meldonium “unconvincing” and has now sanctioned her for violating the drug policy.
She ended her Instagram post by saying that she is suing the CrossFit Games “to fight for fair treatment for every athlete.”
The entire post, written in Russian, has been translated below.
I’m suing the CrossFit Games.
In recent days, information has been actively spreading in our community that I am taking doping. In my doping tests, they found meldonium, a metabolism-improving agent, an analogue of gamma-butyrobetaine, and I was disqualified.
The management of the CrossFit Games were notified of the state in which I entered the competition, did not interfere with this and, in my opinion, acted poorly in making the decision to disqualify me. Therefore, I am ready to tell the whole truth, in which every athlete recognizes himself.
On June 20, 2023, I was hospitalized and had emergency surgery. A month before the competition. As prescribed by the doctors, I actually took meldonium, it helped my body recover faster after a serious operation. I notified the management of the CrossFit Games in writing that, precisely as prescribed by doctors and for a speedy recovery, I took a drug that was part of the prohibited drug. Provided all the certificates and documents that were requested.
Just a month after the most difficult operation, I performed on par with all the athletes, without demanding special treatment or concessions. And she took 5th place in her group.
After the competition, the commission considered my arguments unconvincing and disqualified me. This is not just a disqualification, but an inability to develop as an athlete for the next few years. Which means the end of a career.
I will not tolerate selective treatment of athletes based on nationality. Every person, no matter what gender, nationality or skin color, has the right to fair judging. To respect his rights.
And that is why I will not remain silent. I am suing the CrossFit Games to fight for fair treatment for every athlete. And I will honestly share my successes and failures here. @crossfitgames @thebarbellspin
Looking through Svetlana’s Instagram page, there are currently no posts from June 6 to July 7.
Svetlana finished 5th in the women’s 35-39 year-old age group division at the CrossFit Games.
Requests for comment from Veselova and the CrossFit Games were not immediately returned.