Brinegar Admits Doping Mistake, Calls It Betrayal

Michael Brinegar’s swimming plans were derailed when he was unable to compete in the 1,500 meters at the United States Trials. Just days prior, he had competed in the 800 series, finishing twelfth and failing to qualify for the final. The setback came after he received a four-year suspension from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) due to irregularities in his Biological Passport between July and September 2022.

An independent arbitrator had initially cleared Brinegar of any wrongdoing in 2023, but USADA appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The CAS ultimately upheld the suspension, finding that the irregular values ​​found were “caused by blood doping”.

Brinegar expressed his devastation at being unable to compete due to the CAS ruling, which he believes is based on faulty assumptions and a misinterpretation of the facts. He vowed to continue seeking justice in the matter and thanked his supporters for their understanding.

Brinegar had previously competed at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, swimming in both the 800 and 1,500 meters. His mother, Jennifer Hooker Brinegar, was also an Olympian, competing in the 200 medley and 4×100 freestyle relay at the 1976 Montreal Games.

“As an Olympian and the son of an Olympic swimmer whose U.S. women’s team faced a systematically doping East German team, Cheating is a betrayal of everything I have been taught and what I stand for. I am deeply disappointed by the CAS ruling and the unfounded accusations by USADA,” Brinegar stated.

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