‘The safest meal is a vegan one’: PETA sends Shelby Houlihan pork-free gift basket

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KCAU) – The animal rights organization PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is sending Sioux City-native Shelby Houlihan a pork-free gift basket after she received a four-year ban from competing in professional running, the group said.

In the statement Thursday, PETA said the gift basket includes vegan Herbivorous Butcher Cuban pork, jerky, pork rinds, chorizo, and al pastor.

“Steroids are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the toxins that might be lurking in a pork burrito,” PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said. “PETA hopes Shelby’s experience will serve as a wake-up call for everyone—the safest meal is a vegan one.”

Sioux City-native and Olympian Houlihan announced on June 14 on social media platforms that she was banned for four years from competing after saying she failed a drug test, testing positive for a steroid called Nandrolone.

After putting together a food journal around the time of the December 2020 drug test, Houlihan said that the most likely explanation for the positive test was a burrito with pig offal about 10 hours before the test. She said the meat can produce a false positive as pigs can produce high levels of nandrolone. She then informed the Athletics Integrity Unit. On June 11, 2021, they emailed her, saying they did not accept her explanation. She denies taking any performance-enhancing substances and said she will continue to fight to prove her innocence.

Hours after PETA’s release, USA Track and Field said Houlihan will be allowed to participate in Olympic preliminaries while any appeals she files are pending. She is on the start list for Friday’s 5,000 preliminaries.

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