Matt Brown, a discus thrower set to compete in the London Paralympic Games this summer, has accepted a one-year suspension after testing positive for a banned substance that will keep him from competing in the games.
The USADA, or the United States Anti-Doping Agency, announced the suspension Friday, August 3rd in a press release to KCBD Sports. Brown, a native of Idalou, "tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide and chlorothiazide in a sample collected on June 29, 2012 at the US Paralympic Trials in Indianapolis."
The substances identified in the USADA press release are diuretics sometimes used to mask the recent use of steroids. Brown's first doping offense came in June 2011 after testing positive for "marijuana metabolite."
The 35-year old denies knowingly ingesting an illegal or banned substance in preparation for the Olympic Trials. In a statement to KCBD Newschannel 11, Brown explains why he tested positive last month.
"I unknowingly took a banned substance," said Brown over the phone. "But I want to make it clear: I wasn't taking it to enhance or mask anything; I think that's important for people to know."
"In the end, I am responsible for knowing what I was putting into my body. This is a sad time, a disappointing time for me to not be able to represent my country[in the Paralympic Games]. I believe you can tell a lot about a person when they get knocked down...I'm going to do all I can do to put this behind me."
Brown also expressed his disappointment in letting down his friends, fans, and family.
"I want to apologize for everyone who has supported me the past couple years. It's not easy to live with that, but I still have meets to get ready for. I want to compete in the World Championships, and I still have that to work toward."
Brown did say he fought the upcoming sanctions by the USADA by hiring an attorney in his defense after learning of the positive test. Instead of receiving a two-year ban, the USADA decided on a one-year suspension starting June 29, 2012.