A Team USA Long Jumper Ate ‘Tainted Beef’ at an Arkansas Restaurant. Now He Faces a Four-Year Doping Ban

American long jumper and sprinter Jarrion Lawson faces a lengthy ban after eating what he maintains was contaminated meat.

His agent, Paul Doyle, told The Associated Press on Friday that Lawson is expected to receive a four-year ban from the Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping issues in track and field. Doyle said they’ll appeal the soon-to-be-announced decision.

Lawson has been suspended since August. He’s considered a strong medal contender for next year’s Tokyo Games.

“I’m not going to willingly take punishment for something I didn’t do,” Lawson said in a phone interview.

Doyle said Lawson ate what they believe to be tainted beef at a Japanese restaurant in Arkansas before a drug test on June 2, 2018. Lawson was notified on Aug. 3 that he tested positive for a metabolite of the banned anabolic steroid trenbolone. The substance is frequently used in the U.S. to promote the growth of beef cattle. It also formed part of a steroid mixture used by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Before last summer, Lawson said he knew nothing about trenbolone. Now, he knows quite a bit about it. His “A” sample contained about 0.65 nanograms and his “B” sample about 0.80. Doyle noted that those who have tested positive for trenbolone have been in the range of 37 nanograms.

“It’s an impossible burden to prove because you don’t have a time machine to go back and test the beef,” Doyle said.

Lawson’s been a rising standout since he burst on the scene. During his last season at the University of Arkansas in 2016, Lawson became the first man since Jesse Owens in 1936 to win the 100, 200 and long jump at the same NCAA championships.

That summer, Lawson nearly captured Olympic gold in the long jump, but missed out on the top spot when he grazed the sand with his fingers just before landing. He finished fourth. In 2017, he took second at the world championships.

Lawson hasn’t competed since the Diamond League meet in London on July 22, 2018, when he finished third in the long jump.

Since August, the 25-year-old Lawson has been splitting his time between working on the 100, 200 and his form for the long jump — all the while knowing his future remains uncertain. He’s not sure about U.S. championships later this summer or U.S. Olympic trials.

ANTONIN THUILLIER—AFP/Getty ImagesJarrion Lawson of the USA competes in the final of the men’s long jump athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 5, 2017.

“They could’ve sought a two-year ban, which would have him back ready for the Olympic games potentially. But Jarrion and I agree he shouldn’t accept a two-minute ban because he did nothing wrong,” Doyle said.

Lawson has a credit-card receipt from the restaurant on the day he purchased a beef bowl. Doyle said they also have the beef supplier information, and the company did use trenbolone.

“There’s a bias when there’s a negative drug test to automatically think whoever involved was doping. That’s not the case. There’s proof that’s not the case,” Lawson said. “I believe I’ll be back on the track here soon.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s board recently amended an article of its code that allows WADA-accredited labs to report “atypical findings” for the prohibited substance clenbuterol. Before that, labs were only allowed to report analytical testing results for exogenous prohibited substances as “adverse analytical findings,” which didn’t allow for investigations to take place when potential meat contamination scenarios occurred. It doesn’t extend to trenbolone.

Doyle said they sent hair samples from Lawson to a French lab for testing and it came back negative for trenbolone. Doyle said that proves Lawson is “not a habitual user of trenbolone.”

In a statement, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said: “We understand that the AIU did its job under the WADA rules given what we know about the case. The issue, however, is really whether the WADA rules are fair in these types of cases and we have certainly pushed for change so that cases with extremely low level positives that can come inadvertently from meat, water, nutritional products or prescription medications are not treated the same as cases where intentional, hardcore cheating is evident.”

Tygart added: “We were glad to see WADA change the rule in this regard with its recent decision on clenbuterol establishing a threshold for it and we will continue to push for more reform so that clean athletes are best protected.”

For now, Lawson’s plan is simple — keep training. “It has felt like we’ve been climbing up the hill,” Lawson said. “But I’m staying optimistic.”

 

Sports – TIME

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A Team USA Long Jumper Ate ‘Tainted Beef’ at an Arkansas Restaurant. Now He Faces a Four-Year Doping Ban

American long jumper and sprinter Jarrion Lawson faces a lengthy ban after eating what he maintains was contaminated meat.

His agent, Paul Doyle, told The Associated Press on Friday that Lawson is expected to receive a four-year ban from the Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping issues in track and field. Doyle said they’ll appeal the soon-to-be-announced decision.

Lawson has been suspended since August. He’s considered a strong medal contender for next year’s Tokyo Games.

“I’m not going to willingly take punishment for something I didn’t do,” Lawson said in a phone interview.

Doyle said Lawson ate what they believe to be tainted beef at a Japanese restaurant in Arkansas before a drug test on June 2, 2018. Lawson was notified on Aug. 3 that he tested positive for a metabolite of the banned anabolic steroid trenbolone. The substance is frequently used in the U.S. to promote the growth of beef cattle. It also formed part of a steroid mixture used by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Before last summer, Lawson said he knew nothing about trenbolone. Now, he knows quite a bit about it. His “A” sample contained about 0.65 nanograms and his “B” sample about 0.80. Doyle noted that those who have tested positive for trenbolone have been in the range of 37 nanograms.

“It’s an impossible burden to prove because you don’t have a time machine to go back and test the beef,” Doyle said.

Lawson’s been a rising standout since he burst on the scene. During his last season at the University of Arkansas in 2016, Lawson became the first man since Jesse Owens in 1936 to win the 100, 200 and long jump at the same NCAA championships.

That summer, Lawson nearly captured Olympic gold in the long jump, but missed out on the top spot when he grazed the sand with his fingers just before landing. He finished fourth. In 2017, he took second at the world championships.

Lawson hasn’t competed since the Diamond League meet in London on July 22, 2018, when he finished third in the long jump.

Since August, the 25-year-old Lawson has been splitting his time between working on the 100, 200 and his form for the long jump — all the while knowing his future remains uncertain. He’s not sure about U.S. championships later this summer or U.S. Olympic trials.

ANTONIN THUILLIER—AFP/Getty ImagesJarrion Lawson of the USA competes in the final of the men’s long jump athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 5, 2017.

“They could’ve sought a two-year ban, which would have him back ready for the Olympic games potentially. But Jarrion and I agree he shouldn’t accept a two-minute ban because he did nothing wrong,” Doyle said.

Lawson has a credit-card receipt from the restaurant on the day he purchased a beef bowl. Doyle said they also have the beef supplier information, and the company did use trenbolone.

“There’s a bias when there’s a negative drug test to automatically think whoever involved was doping. That’s not the case. There’s proof that’s not the case,” Lawson said. “I believe I’ll be back on the track here soon.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s board recently amended an article of its code that allows WADA-accredited labs to report “atypical findings” for the prohibited substance clenbuterol. Before that, labs were only allowed to report analytical testing results for exogenous prohibited substances as “adverse analytical findings,” which didn’t allow for investigations to take place when potential meat contamination scenarios occurred. It doesn’t extend to trenbolone.

Doyle said they sent hair samples from Lawson to a French lab for testing and it came back negative for trenbolone. Doyle said that proves Lawson is “not a habitual user of trenbolone.”

In a statement, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said: “We understand that the AIU did its job under the WADA rules given what we know about the case. The issue, however, is really whether the WADA rules are fair in these types of cases and we have certainly pushed for change so that cases with extremely low level positives that can come inadvertently from meat, water, nutritional products or prescription medications are not treated the same as cases where intentional, hardcore cheating is evident.”

Tygart added: “We were glad to see WADA change the rule in this regard with its recent decision on clenbuterol establishing a threshold for it and we will continue to push for more reform so that clean athletes are best protected.”

For now, Lawson’s plan is simple — keep training. “It has felt like we’ve been climbing up the hill,” Lawson said. “But I’m staying optimistic.”

 

Sports – TIME

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The other ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ seem to have issues with Lisa Vanderpump these days, but NeNe Leakes is throwing some Atlanta drama in the mix.

While interviewing with Jenny McCarthy, NeNe revealed that she once thought of opening a restaurant in West Hollywood in the same location Lisa opened PUMP.

According to NeNe, she called Lisa to ask her opinion on the spot since she knew Lisa had SUR just down the street. Lisa allegedly talked NeNe out of getting the spot — only to turn around and snatch it up for herself.

See what all NeNe had to say about it below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

OOP! #NeneLeakes spills the TEA on #RHOBH star #LisaVanderpump sneakily stealing her restaurant idea years ago! Thoughts? ? #RHOA

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Black Restaurant Weeks to Support

Black Restaurant Weeks happen all throughout the year in different cities all across the U.S. for the last 25 years. A restaurant week provides the opportunity to experience cultural diversity and try new food while at the same time stimulating local economies and promoting awareness of minority-owned businesses.

Not only is it good for black-owned businesses but it also showcases community engagement and gives restaurant owners a chance to think outside the box with meal specials and deals that would not normally be on the menu or that are offered at a higher price.

Usually, customers who attend restaurant weeks wind up coming back; according to Toast.com, 80% of diners who try a restaurant during restaurant week are likely to return.

Here’s our list of black restaurant weeks around the nation that you should support if you’re ever in one of these cities.

UPCOMING

DMV Black Restaurant Week, Washington, D.C.

DMV Black Restaurant Week is designed not only to highlight the black-owned establishments in and around the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area but to also empower up-and-coming talent. And it’s not just about restaurants; it’s also inclusive of black-owned bars. Some events include bartender competition, mixology classes, and a conference about entrepreneurship and financing. It’s the first restaurant week of its kind to offer such a diverse array of programming that caters to patrons, entrepreneurs, and aspiring business owners.

Find out more information, here.

Nov. 4-11, 2018

Columbus Urban League Young Professionals (CULYP) Black Restaurant Week, Columbus, OH

The organizers of Columbus Urban League Young Professionals (CULYP) Black Restaurant Week believe that supporting black restaurants plays a crucial role in empowering their community. The event, they say, is also a chance for the black-owned restaurants in the Columbus area to offer dining deals and raise awareness of their business.

Visitors can try some of the newer black-owned restaurants while also supporting the established ones.

Find out more information, here.

November 11-17, 2018

2019

Chicago Black Restaurant Week, Chicago, IL

Chicago Black Restaurant Week, located in the Chicago area and surrounding suburbs, was designed by PR guru Laura Smith with the intention of putting a spotlight on African American eateries. With growing support from local residents every year and over 20 restaurants participating, there is sure to be something for every patron to enjoy.

More information can be found here.

Feb 10-17, 2019

Black Restaurant Week, Dallas, TX

This event is the first of its kind in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area. Visitors can sample the flavors of African American, African, and Caribbean cuisines at participating restaurants like Wings World, Peace Love & Eatz Smoothie Bar, and OMG Soul Food.

Find out more information, here.

Oct. 13-27, 2019

PAST RESTAURANT WEEKS

Richmond Black Restaurant Experience, Richmond, VA

The Richmond Black Restaurant Experience is a celebratory week dedicated to supporting Richmond’s black-owned restaurants and promoting the Richmond regions growing culinary tourism scene. It aims to counter economic disparity within minority-owned businesses with fun and interactive solutions that engage, excite, and ignite a deeper understanding and love of Richmond food culture.

Find out more information, here.

Mar. 4-11, 2018

Memphis Black Restaurant Week, Memphis, TN

Created to help local minority-owned businesses gain exposure and support from the community, Memphis Black Restaurant Week was born. According to the website, its mission is to create an “opportunity for black-owned restaurants to offer dining deals to bring in new customers and raise awareness.”

Find out more information, here.

Mar. 5-11, 2018

Black Restaurant Week, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

This is Philly’s first black restaurant week, with the city of brotherly love showcasing African American, Caribbean, and African cuisine. In addition to diners being able to support businesses like Booker’s Restaurant and Bar and Rose Petals Cafe & Lounge, there is also a culinary panel and a cocktail competition.

More information can be found here.

June 10-17, 2018

Detroit Black Restaurant Week, Detroit, MI

Detroit Black Restaurant Week features casual dining and fine dining restaurants and offers several events that highlight and promote different aspects of the culinary scene in Detroit, particularly the black culinary scene.

It first kicked off in 2017 and is supported by Kwaku Osei-Bonsu, a Detroit-area resident who is passionate about showcasing black-owned Detroit businesses. His aim is to bring people of all backgrounds together for Detroit Black Restaurant Week and expose them to establishments and owners that they might otherwise not have encountered.

Find out more information, here.

Aug. 20-26, 2018

Atlanta Black Restaurant Week, Atlanta GA

For two weeks, Atlanta celebrates the flavors of African American, African, and Caribbean cuisines. Participating restaurants include Mangos Caribbean Restaurant, Café Songhai, a West African eatery, and The Spice House.

Find out more information, here.

Sept. 2-16, 2018

Charlotte Black Restaurant Week, Charlotte, NC

More than 20 black-owned restaurants participate in Charlotte Black Restaurant Week and will offer special menu items and prices. The event also takes one night to honor the best black chef and it also includes black-owned food trucks. According to their website, the organizers and the black business owners of Charlotte realized the need to ramp up excitement about the black restaurants that have either planted roots in Charlotte or survived among closures.

Find out more information, here.

Oct.14-21, 2018

Taste of Soul L.A., Los Angeles, CA

Eater.com calls it L.A.’s biggest street food festival, and it features plenty of black-owned establishments. It has been going strong for 13 years with organizers claiming annual attendance of more than 350,000 people.

The annual, family-friendly festival, often held in October, features a variety of different food vendors all dishing up BBQ & soul food, Jamaican cuisine, as well as traditional African and American dishes. A beer garden is usually on deck along with live entertainment including music, comedy, and gospel singers.

Find out more information, here.

Oct. 20-21, 2018

Bay Area Black Restaurant Week, Bay Area, CA

Hosted in what is considered one of the best food cities in the country, this two-week Bay Area event has something for every restaurant-goer. Enjoy a dining experience with a variety of choices including barbecue, soul food, and even vegan options. A portion of the proceeds from this restaurant week will go back into the community and donations will be given to the Oakland Food Pantry and Farms to Grow in San Francisco. Patrons will be able to enjoy a great meal while also contributing to worthy causes.

More information can be found here.

Oct 21-28, 2018 

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