The world of sprinting has claimed another victim to drug testing violations. Considered one of the most scrutinized sports in the entire world, sprinters are no stranger to charges of cheating and sporting violations. Now, the sport has lost elite level British sprinter Nigel Levine. Levine tested positive for Clenbuterol, which is a very popular drug amongst bodybuilders and gym rats, but for a professional level sprinter to utilize Clenbuterol is a very interesting development. Clen is often used to lose weight and shed body fat fast, so it’s curious as to why Levine of all people would choose something that wouldn’t necessarily have any sports-related carryover.
What makes Levine’s situation very curious and unfortunate, for him especially, is the fact that he’s been out of competition due to an injury. Because of that injury, it might be worth speculating as to why he was using PEDs, so aside from having to sit out due to a mishap he had on a motorcycle, now he’ll be facing even more time off due to the failed drug test. While Clen does have some practical real world uses, it has been appropriated by a lot of athletes and those looking to get an edge for its fat-burning properties. Contrary to popular belief, Clenbuterol is not an anabolic drug. Rather, it is a long acting beta agonist, often called LABAs.
These are drugs that are often used by people that are asthmatic, but in certain dosages, their innocuous medical benefits are instead used for those looking to get an edge. Endurance athletes are typically those that would get an edge, and for someone like Levine who is engaged in primarily anaerobic events that don’t require much cardiovascular capacity, it’s curious that he would use this drug, although totally not out of the realm of possibility. However, it’s also important to understand that while he has been declared as a failed test-taker in this instance, there is still a so-called B sample that has to be verified before it’s 100-percent determined as to the fate of Levine. If he is determined to have cheated after they look at the B sample, however, it will mean that Levine faces a ban of up to 4 years by the UKAD (United Kingdom’s Anti-Doping agency).
While it seems like this is a one-off bad instance for Levine, he has a string of terrible luck in the past few years. Back in early 2017, Levine and another high level sprinter sustained catastrophic injuries in a motorbike accident. The accident, although survivable by both athletes, could’ve cost them both dearly, and as a result, it kept Levine out of competition for a considerable people of time. He had to miss the 2017 championships as a result of his injury, and because of this recent drug test failure, it seems that he is going to miss a lot more as well. Towards the end of the period, he began training with very high level sprinters, and undoubtedly set his sights on the year 2018 as a year of tremendous growth and opportunity.
But depending on the result of this B sample for his Clenbuterol, it could all be worthless if it comes back positive. While his broken pelvis was survivable, it seems that these possible failures could be what does Levine in. While he very well may have to wait for his 30s to really go all out with competition, he would be in good company with high level sprinter Justin Gatlin who was also suspended and went on to have an impressive career.
Funny enough, he shares the same agent as Gatlin, an agent accused of helping pass PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs) to his clients. Food for thought.