CJ Ujah has been cleared by the Athletics Integrity Unit and World Anti-Doping Agency of intentionally taking the banned substances ostarine and S-23, but won’t be able to compete again until June of next year.
The 28-year-old sprinter was part of the Great Britain 4x100m team which won Olympic silver – alongside Reece Prescod, Zharnel Hughes and Richard Kilty – back in Tokyo, until the quartet were stripped of their medals due to the adverse finding of prohibited substances in Ujah’s drugs test.
Ujah will not face the prospect of a four-year ban, though, due to the fact that the prohibited substances ostarine and S-23, which are reported to provide similar benefits to testosterone, were part of a ‘contaminated supplement’ and that it was ‘not intentional’.
Instead, he has received a 22-month ban, reduced by two months due to the fact that he recognised the adverse finding upon notification. That has been backdated from August 6, 2021, meaning that Ujah will be able to compete again next June.
“Obviously, I made a mistake,” CJ Ujah told The Guardian. “But people make mistakes. I am not a cheat.”
“During the pandemic I relied a lot on Amazon, rather than using the people and resources around me. It was just convenient, with next-day delivery. And I didn’t think anything was wrong with it.”
“I was a firm believer that the truth would come out in the end. But the hard bit is that I feel like I’ve been on mute for over a year and haven’t been able to defend myself. Some people were thinking, ‘this guy is hiding’. I wasn’t hiding. I was going through a legal procedure where I couldn’t comment.”
“The AIU and WADA were satisfied that the sprinter’s anti-doping rule violation was not intentional as a result of his ingestion of a contaminated supplement and the applicable two-year period of ineligibility was reduced by two months on account of how promptly he admitted the violation,” the AIU said in a statement.
With the World Championships taking place in Hungary between August 19-27, there is the prospect that Ujah could soon represent Great Britain once again in a major championship.
He will also be free to race at next year’s British Championships on June 23-25 and the Diamond League in London on July 23.
“At UKA we are committed to a culture that supports the athletes individual and collective responsibility to clean sport,” British Athletics said in a statement.
“We therefore express our extreme disappointment, frustration and sadness that the actions of CJ Ujah resulted in the GB & NI team members forfeiting their hard-earned medals. The negligence of one individual to fulfil their commitment to clean athletics – one of the essential obligations of representing GB & NI – had a devastating impact upon the entire relay programme, but none more so than the other athletes who competed alongside Ujah in the Olympic final.
“The sanction handed down to CJ Ujah suspending him from competing within the sport, the resulting impact upon his team-mates and their families and support networks as well as the huge disappointment to GB & NI team fans reinforces the importance of clean sport.”