SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The running career of Sioux City track standout Shelby Houlihan is on hold tonight just days before the U.S. Olympic Track trials.
Houlihan, 28, tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone. In a lengthy Facebook post Monday night, the 2011 Sioux City East High School graduate confirmed that she has been banned from the sports for 4 years.
According to the post, Houlihan received an email from the Athletics Integrity Unit informing her a drug testing sample that she provided on December 15, 2020, had returned as an Adverse Analytical Finding for a steroid called Nandrolone. She says she was immediately subject to a Provisional Suspension.
Houlihan says she has since learned that the World Anti-Doping Agency has identified pork and certain kinds of pork products as having produced false positives for the drug.
Houlihan says after putting together a food journal covering the 5 days leading up to her December 15th test the most likely explanation for the positive test was a burrito purchased and consumed approximately 10 hours before her original test was taken.
Houlihan says that one June 11th she received the news that the Court of Arbitration did not accept her explanation of what had occurred and has subsequently banned her from the sport for four years.
In her post, Houlihan says, “I feel completely devastated, lost, broken, angry, confused and betrayed by the very sport that I have loved and poured myself into to see how good I was. I want to be very clear, I have never taken any performance-enhancing substances. And that includes that of which I am being accused. I believe in the sport and pushing your body to the limit just to see where the limit is. I am not interested in cheating.”
Houlihan is asking for respect and privacy while she continues to navigate this stressful time.
Shelby Houlihan qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the Women’s 5000 meters.
She later placed 4th in her Olympics heat qualifying for the finals where she finished 11th.
Last July, Houlihan broke her own American record in the 5000 meters in a time of 14:23:92.