‘The truth will prevail’: Shelby Houlihan reacts to ban from Olympic trials

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Shelby Houlihan walks off the track after winning the women’s 1500-meter run at the U.S. Championships athletics meet, Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

EUGENE, Ore. (KCAU) — The running career of Sioux City track standout Shelby Houlihan will continue to be on hold after being barred from running from the U.S. Olympic Track trials.

After the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) reversed a decision from USA Track and Field (USATF) to allow runner Shelby Houlihan to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Thursday, Houlihan took to social media to express her disappointment.

In a Facebook post, she said she “can’t find the words to express how disheartening this is,” and it “breaks my heart to have my dreams and career taken away for something I did not do.”

Houlihan said even though her appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal may be hard to win, she believes that the “truth will prevail.”

Earlier this week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Houlihan’s four-year ban for testing positive for trace amounts of the performance enhancer nandrolone.

Houlihan has blamed her positive test on a pork burrito she ate 10 hours before a test in December. Contaminated meats have led to positive tests in other cases, many of which have been dismissed. But Houlihan did not receive any leniency, and her ban would keep her out of the upcoming Olympics and the 2024 Games.

A former East High School trackster, Houlihan set her U.S. record in the 1,500-meter at the world championships in 2019 with a time of 3:54.99 seconds. She broke the U.S. 5,000-meter mark with a time of 14:23.92 in 2020. In the 2016 Olympics, Houlihan placed 11th in the 5000m final with a time of 15:08.89.

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