Brenda Martinez Accepts No Fault Finding After Testing Positive For Banned Substance

USADA Press Release
December 29, 2020

Colorado Springs, Colo. – USADA announced today that Brenda Martinez, of Big Bear, Calif., an athlete in the sport of track and field, has tested positive for a prohibited substance, which was determined to have been ingested by her without fault or negligence. As a result, Martinez will not face a period of ineligibility for her positive test.

“This is our sixth no-fault case in just one year, meaning that yet another athlete has been unjustly charged with a violation and publicly recognized for ingesting a prohibited substance from a completely innocent source, such as contaminated medication, meat, or water, and despite there being no effect on performance,” said Travis T. Tygart, Chief Executive Officer of USADA. “USADA strongly objects to this requirement under the rules and will continue to urge WADA to reform the system to be fairer for athletes.”

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Martinez, 33, tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample she provided on September 10, 2020. HCTZ is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy, and the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

During USADA’s investigation into the circumstances of her case, Martinez provided USADA with records of a permitted oral prescription medication that she was taking at the time of her positive test. This permitted medication, which Martinez takes at the direction of a physician, did not list HCTZ or any other prohibited substances on the label. However, detailed laboratory analysis subsequently conducted on multiple tablets of the athlete’s medication confirmed HCTZ contamination at a level consistent with Martinez’s positive test.

Martinez will not face a period of ineligibility for her positive test, and because the sample was collected out-of-competition, there are no competitive results to disqualify.

In an effort to aid athletes, as well as support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to file and update athlete Whereabouts, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements, as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.

In addition, USADA manages a drug reference hotline, Global Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as an easy-reference wallet card with examples of prohibited and permitted substances, a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, an athlete handbook, and periodic alerts and advisories.

Along with education and testing, robust anti-doping programs enable investigations stemming from tips and whistleblowers. USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by email at [email protected], by phone at 1-877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253) or by mail.

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.

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