Two-time Olympic cyclist Bobby Lea said Thursday he will appeal a doping ban that would end his chances of competing at next year’s Rio Games.
The US Anti-Doping Agency said an arbitration panel had approved a 16-month suspension, starting from September 10, which stemmed from a positive test for a metabolite of the narcotic oxycodone during the US road cycling championships in August.
Lea, 32, said in a letter on his website that the positive test was the result of taking prescribed Percoset as a sleep aid the night before competition.
He acknowledged that he failed to check that the medication was approved for in-competition use, but still said he would appeal.
“I know that as an athlete, I am accountable for everything that I ingest, regardless of the source,” said Lea, who competed in the points race and Madison at the 2008 Olympics and in the omnium at the London Games.
“I remain committed to the strict rules and ethics that govern track cycling and Olympic Sport and I support any and all anti-doping efforts that help better it. However, because I want to end my career on the track and not in a lawyer’s conference room, I will appeal this sanction to the Court of Arbitration forSport.” – Agence France-Presse