For a few hours Thursday, banned runner Shelby Houlihan still had a shot at making the Olympic team. Despite her ban, Houlihan was initially set to run in both the 1,500 and 5,000 meters events at the Olympics trials Friday. That's not going to happen anymore.
U.S. Olympics stepped in and said it would uphold any ruling upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, according to USA Today.
In a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports, USOPC chief executive officer Sarah Hirshland said the USOPC, "together with USATF," would adhere to the World Anti-Doping Agency Code and any rulings from the Court of Arbitration for Sport "that govern athlete participation in sanctioned events."
Houlihan initially received a four-year suspension from the Athletics Integrity Unit after testing positive for nandrolone, an anabolic steroid. She filed for appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but it declined to hear Houlihan's argument, upholding Houlihan's suspension.
The Athletics Integrity Unit issued a statement Thursday saying USA Track and Field (USATF), which said it would allow Houlihan to run in the events despite the ban, must view the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision as both "final and binding."
AIU Statement: pic.twitter.com/S9NMy0wkPG
— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) June 17, 2021
USATF originally said it would allow any banned athlete to take part in the trials if they still had appeals pending. Following her rejection from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, it's unclear whether Houlihan had any further options. In her statement announcing the ban, Houlihan did not mention whether she would take more steps to try and get the suspension overturned.
Shelby Houlihan blames burrito for positive test
Houlihan's claims she did not knowingly take nandrolone. She believes the steroid got into her system through a burrito. Nandrolone has been found in pork, and Houlihan claimed she ate a pork burrito from a food truck roughly 10 hours before she was tested.
Houlihan claimed the amount of nandrolone in her system was low, proving she had not been using the steroid regularly. Despite that argument, the Court of Arbitration for Sport still declined to hear Houlihan's appeal.
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