August 4, 2021

Shelby Houlihan to compete in US Olympic trial despite four-year doping ban

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Shelby Houlihan
Shelby Houlihan is the US record holder in the 1500m and 5,000m

American middle distance runner Shelby Houlihan will be allowed to compete at the US Olympic trials despite her four-year doping ban.

The 28-year-old was banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday after testing positive for the prohibited anabolic steroid nandrolone, which she blamed on a burrito.

Houlihan is appealing against the ban.

She has been included in the start list for Friday’s heats of the women’s 1500m and 5,000m in Eugene, Oregon.

Although not naming Houlihan directly, USA Track & Field (USATF) said:external-link “Given there is an active appeal process, USATF will allow any athletes to continue competing until the process is completed.”

If her ban is upheld, Houlihan will miss both the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympics.

Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Houlihan said she was “trying to exhaust every option” to overturn the ban.

“I’m putting all my trust in the process,” she said. “I’ve tried to so far and honestly it’s failed me. But I’m going to keep trusting that the truth will come out and that I will be able to compete in the coming years.

“I worked really hard and I’m in the best shape of my life right now but I’m trying to trust the process and hope that I can get justice from this.”

Rio Olympian Houlihan previously said she had “never even heard” of nandrolone, which can help to increase muscle mass.

The US record holder in the 1500m and 5,000m said it may have come from eating a burrito, which she said could lead to a false positive for nandrolone, the night before her test.