An arbitrator has imposed a four-year ban on U.S. distance runner Mo Trafeh over doping violations, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Thursday.
According to the USADA, the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel (AAA) determined that Trafeh repeatedly used the banned substance EPO and lied about doing so, dating to at least January 2012.
In addition to the ban, Trafeh has been stripped of results of all competitions he's participated in since Jan. 1, 2012, including his wins at the 2012 U.S. 15K National Championship, 2013 U.S. Half Marathon Championship and 2013 U.S. 25k National Championship. Trafeh set a record with his performance at the latter.
From the USADA's press release:
After consideration of all the evidence presented, the Arbitrator confirmed that the evidence proved that Trafeh purchased EPO, transported EPO into the U.S., had used EPO since at least January 2012, and knowingly submitted false whereabouts information in an attempted ruse to both avoid testing and the consequences of an unsuccessful test attempt due to his failure to submit accurate whereabouts information to USADA.
It was revealed in June that Trafeh had been caught at an airport in possession of EPO earlier this year. While Trafeh denied using the hormone, he also announced his retirement at the time, saying he couldn't afford to pay the legal fees that would result from him contesting his case.
Trafeh never tested positive for EPO.
In the wake of the arbitrator's ruling, USATF named replacement winners for the aforementioned three events that Trafeh won.
Trafeh, 29, was born in Morocco and moved to the U.S. in 1999. He became a U.S. citizen in 2008.
- Ben Estes