FACT CHECK: Did American Runner Shelby Houlihan Test Positive For Marijuana?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 4,300 times claims American runner Shelby Houlihan tested positive for marijuana.

Verdict: False

Houlihan was suspended for four years after testing positive for a banned steroid, not marijuana.

Fact Check:

American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is suspended from competing for one month after testing positive for THC, preventing her from competing in the 100-meter dash in the Tokyo Olympics, CNN reported. Her suspension has subsequently been the subject of dozens of media reports.

Now, a viral image on Facebook shows a photo of Houlihan along with text reading: “This runner also tested positive for marijuana I wonder why you don’t see this story all over the place.” (RELATED: Was Recreational Marijuana Use Recently Legalized In Minnesota?)

There is no evidence, however, that Houlihan tested positive for THC. Houlihan received a provisional suspension from the Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU) in January after testing positive for nandrolone, a banned anabolic steroid, in December 2020, according to the AZcentral. Despite the suspension, it appeared Houlihan would still be able to race at the June 18 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, the outlet reported. The Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport announced prior to the race that Houlihan would be banned from competing for four years, according to the Associated Press.

Despite the Facebook image’s claim, several media outlets, including ESPNUSA Today and CNN all reported on Houlihan’s positive test result and subsequent ban from racing.

Houlihan stated in a June 14 Instagram post that the banned substance stemmed from a pork burrito she ate 10 hours before her failed test. Some research has found that consuming boar or pig meat can cause people to test positive for nandrolone.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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