It may not be a performance enhancing drug, but it’s still illegal. Nick Delpopolo, an American Judo fighter, was expelled from the 2012 London Olympics today after he tested positive for marijuana.
The International Olympic Committee disqualified the 23-year-old from the 73-kilogram class. Delpopolo had placed seventh in the competition but the IOC is asking the International Judo Federation to erase the result.
U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky said:
“(The IOC is) absolutely committed to clean competition and stringent anti-doping penalties. Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences and we absolutely support the disqualification.”
Delpopolo released a statement, saying:
“I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake… I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”
According to the Huffington Post, Delpopolo is the first athlete to be expelled from this year’s Olympics for failing a drug test. Four other athletes have tested positive, but those cases all occurred before the start of the 2012 London Olympics.
Here’s a video of Delpopolo training for the 2012 London Olympics.
Delpopolo may be the first athlete to be expelled from this year’s games for drug use, but he isn’t the first athlete that the IOC has sent home. An Australian rower was sent home after a drunken rampage through Olympic Village, a Swiss soccer player and a Greek triple-jumper were sent home for making racist remarks, a German rower was expelled for having ties to a Neo-Nazi group, and 8 badminton players were expelled from the games for purposely losing matches.