CrossFit Bans 5 European Athletes for PED’s

Five athletes from the 2017 Meridian Regional have tested positive for use of PED’s(performance enhancing drugs) during their Regional’s performance. None of the sanctioned athletes—one female and four males—placed high enough to earn a trip to the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games. But all five have received disqualifications from the 2017 season after positive results from directed drug testing.

The Athletes

Here is the list of athletes from the 2017 Meridian Regionals who have been banned for use of PED’s:

  • Andrea Barbotti, tested positive for clomiphene
  • Stella Christoforou, tested positive for clenbuterol
  • Ľudovít Czókoly, tested positive for clomiphene
  • Paweł Leśnikowski, tested positive for clenbuterol and modafinil
  • Gianluca Occhino, tested positive for tamoxifen

The PEDs

Clenbuterol – a bronchodilator that may enhance muscle protein synthesis

Clomiphene – an estrogen receptor modulator that may alter testosterone levels

Modafinil – (a wakefulness-promoting agent) and elevated testosterone levels

Tamoxifen – a cancer treatment drug that may increase testosterone

Zero-Tolerance Policy

Sources cite the PED’s that were used by these five athletes were prescribed over the counter. CrossFit maintains a Zero-Tolerance Policy, and rightly so. The use of PED’s in the sport affects not only those guilty of use, but all the athletes in the competition.

In a statement from CrossFit Games General Manager, Justin Bergh, said, “Drug testing is an important part of our sport, and critical for validating the performances of these professional athletes. Each individual competitor who advances through Regionals must pass a drug test in order to compete at the CrossFit Games”. The CrossFit Games conducts testing on every podium finisher at the Regionals and the Games, select members of qualifying teams, and other, randomly selected athletes.

According to the official release, the disqualifications were a result of directed testing, which means that CrossFit had “information it deemed reasonable that led to screening specific athletes and increasing the total number of tests for performance-enhancing drugs, or PED’s, in that region.”

“Use of performance-enhancing drugs is a reality in many professional arenas. We’re committed to being the exception,” Bergh said. “We will provide the resources necessary to expand the depth and volume of directed testing in and out of competition, and will continue to use information gained from our global community to weed out those who would cheat.” – Justin Bergh, CrossFit Games General Manager

The Future

Each year stakes get higher and the spots more coveted. With that comes cheating. To combat this, CrossFit partners with Drug Free Sport. The same organization that conducts drug testing for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA, along with 300 other sports and athletic organizations. A laboratory approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency processes blood and urine samples.

What’s reassuring is that the use of PED’s doesn’t seem to be an advantage. Not enough to help any athlete “cheat” their way into the arena. Top podium finishers have said it before, steroids wouldn’t help you win the CrossFit Games. In fact, aside from Ryan Elrod earlier this year, it seems that PED’s won’t even help you make it out of Regionals, let a lone win the Games.

The bans for these five athletes will remain in effect until the 2021 CrossFit Games season.

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Laskey Hart

Editor at, CF-L1 Trainer | Since day one in the gym, Laskey has been trying to beat the laws of physics. At 6' 5", it may come as a surprise that Fran is in fact NOT his favorite workout, and burpees are NOT his favorite movement. It does, however, mean that every day is a new day to prove people who say "CrossFit isn't for tall people" -- wrong.

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