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Posted: July 15, 2017

 ‘Kissing defense’ leads to reversal of sprinter’s drug ban

Gil Roberts celebrated after he helped the United States take gold in the men's 4-by-400 meter final at last year's Summer Olympics.
Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Gil Roberts celebrated after he helped the United States take gold in the men's 4-by-400 meter final at last year's Summer Olympics.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

“Kiss and tell” turned out to be a winning defense for Olympic gold medal sprinter Gil Roberts.

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Roberts, who was suspended in May for a positive drug test, had that ban lifted by an arbitrator, ESPN reported. The arbitrator upheld Roberts’ contention that the drug was in his system due to the frequent and passionate kissing of his girlfriend.

Roberts was part of the United States’ 4-by-400 relay team that won a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In March he tested positive for the drug probenecid, and two months later the United States Anti-Doping Agency said Roberts’ B sample also tested positive for the drug, which is a masking agent.

Roberts’ girlfriend, Alex Salazar, was taking the drug Moxylong for a sinus infection, ESPN reported. Roberts and Salazar told the arbitrator that they “kissed frequently and passionately,” including on March 24, the day Roberts was originally tested, ESPN reported.

Roberts testified he did not know that kissing his girlfriend would lead to a positive drug test.

“It must have been like lightning out of a clear blue sky for (Roberts) to learn that by kissing his girlfriend this time that he was exposing himself to a banned substance,” the USADA said in its ruling.

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