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Paralympic Track & Field Athlete Desmond Jackson Receives 14-Month Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation


Colorado Springs, Colo. (October 21, 2021) – USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has concluded the case of Paralympic track and field athlete Desmond Jackson, of Durham, N.C., and determined that Jackson should receive a 20-month sanction for his anti-doping rule violation, which USADA then reduced to 14 months based on Jackson’s substantial assistance. The decision comes after the facts of the case were presented and fully argued at an evidentiary hearing on September 23, 2021.

Jackson, 22, tested positive for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) as the result of an in-competition urine sample collected at U.S. Paralympics Track & Field Trials on June 18, 2021. DHEA is a Non-Specified Substance in the category of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Paralympic Committee Anti-Doping Code, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

During its investigation into the circumstances of the case, USADA determined that Jackson’s coach, Jamaal Daniels, provided DHEA to Jackson prior to a competition. Jackson was not aware that what Daniels had provided him was a prohibited substance, and Daniels has accepted a four-year sanction for administration and tampering violations, as detailed here.

At the hearing, Jackson and USADA disagreed as to Jackson’s degree of fault in accepting the pills from Daniels without knowing or inquiring about what they were. The arbitrator concluded that Jackson’s degree of fault was considerable and that a 20-month period of ineligibility was appropriate and pointed to a number of factors, including that the athlete had taken numerous anti-doping education tutorials over his athletic career and that he failed to determine what he was taking prior to consuming the pills from Daniels.

USADA has granted Jackson an additional six-month reduction of his sanction for providing substantial assistance with respect to the case against Daniels. Jackson’s 14-month period of ineligibility began on July 8, 2021, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Jackson has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained June 18, 2021, the date of his positive test, through July 8, 2021, the date his provisional suspension was imposed, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

The arbitrator’s award, as well as other arbitral decisions, may be found here.

In an effort to aid athletes, as well as support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to file and update athlete Whereabouts, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements, as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.

In addition, USADA manages a drug reference hotline, Global Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as an easy-reference wallet card with examples of prohibited and permitted substances, a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, an athlete handbook, and periodic alerts and advisories.

USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by email at playclean@usada.org, by phone at 1-877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253) or by mail.

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.