Ben Garard was sanctioned by CrossFit, Inc. two weeks ago for a failed drug test prior to the Down Under CrossFit Championship in April. According to a statement made by CrossFit, Garard tested positive for metabolites of GW1516 (also referred to as endurobol). Garard was suspended four years for the failed test.
In the days following the suspension, Garard has remained silent on suspension. But tonight, Garard posted his response on Instagram. Written on his iPhone, Garard outlines his side of the story over four screenshots.
Garard begins by writing, “In case you may have missed it because The CrossFit Games have recently deleted their social media accounts, I have been sanctioned with a four-year ban for detection of a prohibited substance. Firstly, I would like to refute any suggestion that I intentionally took GW1516 metabilites. I have absolutely no incentive to take PEDs in any way and it strongly goes against my core values as a person and competitor.”
Later Garard addresses comments about both he and his brother failing drug tests. Garard writes, “Some people have been quick to judge, claiming that I ‘should have known better’ after my brother Ricky’s ban in 2017. I have always adopted a scientifically-based, professional approach to my nutrition and take comfort in knowing I’ve done nothing intentionally wrong.”
He later questions the circumstances around his test. He states, “I find it irregular that the collection agent had to double-check and confirm with her superiors that I must be tested – after I notified her that I had withdrawn from the competition weeks in advance. In their official announcement, CrossFit Games also incorrectly reported the date of my test by a whole month. I was tested on Friday May 17, 2019 – the first morning of Down Under CrossFit Championships – not Tuesday April 16, 2019. This refutes any suggestion that I tested positive before I could compete, which is completely false.”
He then goes back to his brother. “Along with aiming to improve their perception of credibility, the only other sense I can make of this in relation to my brother Ricky, who is a real contender for the title of ‘Fittest On Earth’. Maybe it’s another obstacle to try to prevent him from disrupting the American-dominated male champions.,” writes Garard.
He follows up by stating that he will work to make sure this sanction by CrossFit does not impact any WADA-regulated sports, leaving the door open that he might pursue a different sport, possible Olympic Weightlifting. He concludes his statement with, “Put simply, I will not be the victim to the situation. I will continue to run my seven-year affiliate, stage fitness events and positively contribute to the lives of others. Thank you for your support.”
Garard’s full statement can be read below.
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