CrossFit HQ announced that Natalie Newhart, a competitor at the 2013 CrossFit Games has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. From the CrossFit announcement:
“Newhart submitted to an out-of-competition drug test on Feb. 27, 2016, which came back positive for the anabolic agent oxandrolone [Oxandrolone is an anabolic steroid that is medically used by patients to regain weight after surgery, illness, or trauma] .
Newhart is not appealing the results.
She will be suspended for two years as of March 17, and will not be able to compete in any CrossFit-sanctioned event until March 18, 2018. Her scores from this year’s Open will be invalidated.”
Newhart, 30, took to Instagram to post this statement:
“To my friends, family, gym, coaches, sponsors and the CF community … From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to each and every one of you for the poor choice I’ve made. I screwed up and I am sorry.
Never in a million years did I think I’d be one to fall on that path, facing the consequences I am now, including writing this embarrassing apology. Although there’s no excuse or reason to justify what I did, those of you that know me know how hard I’ve worked and, despite my relentless effort, I’ve had one hell of a battle trying to get my strength where it needed to be to achieve my dreams. I tried everything, including different coaches, nutrition programs, moving to sea level, and training at the worlds strongest gym for several months, but nothing worked. I got to a point where I had two choices 1) quit and give up on my dreams or 2) break a rule.
Regardless of why I did it, I regret making that decision and I’ve learned my lesson. I know that there’s nothing I can say or do that will make this all go away but I want you all to know that I’m very sorry and hope that one day you can forgive me. I will continue coaching and training because it’s what I love, and I’ll continue my journey to podium, this time in another sport. Thank you for all your support over the years!”
Newhart is not the first athlete to violate CrossFit’s Drug Testing Policy, nor will she be the last. In 2015, four athletes were sanctioned as a result of failed drug tests. Steve Pinkerton, a three-time Regional competitor, provided a urine sample at the Atlantic Regional on May 17, 2015, that tested positive for the anti-estrogens Anastrozole and Letrozole, as well as 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite of the anabolic substance Nandrolone. Anti-estrogens are substances that block the production and/or effects of estrogen in the body, which means that there is an increase in testosterone production (testosterone is an important hormone that works to build muscle). Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid. Elia Navarro Garcia, an athlete who competed at the Meridian Regional (finishing 10th), provided a urine sample during the competition that tested positive for Oxandrolone, an anabolic agent. Both athletes declined to appeal the results of their tests, and are thus prohibited from competing in any CrossFit sanctioned competition until the 2018 Open. In a far more publicized case, 2014 Games athlete Richard Bohlken (South Central) was suspended from the 2015 season after testing positive for the banned substance Ostarine in April. In athletes, Ostarine has been credited for increased lean mass gains, increased strength and endurance, joint healing abilities and many of the benefits of anabolic steroids. However, in an interview with CrossFit, Bohlken stated that he was a victim of cross-contamination, and that he did not knowingly take Ostarine as a performance-enhancing drug (PED).
Reading Newhart’s statement, it’s interesting to note how she elected to ‘break a rule’ in order to achieve her goals and make it to the Games. This is just another indication of how far athletes are willing to go in order to be a part of CrossFit’s biggest stage. As the incentive of qualifying for the Games (prize money, recognition, potential sponsorship) continues to grow, some athletes will seek to gain an advantage on the competition by any means necessary. Rest assured that this won’t be the last time we hear of a suspension in this sport due to PEDs.
3 thoughts on “2013 Games Competitor Natalie Newhart Fails Drug Test”
Heartbreaking to see someone’s desire for success lead them down a path that can literally take it away from them. CrossFit has become VERY competitive. I too have a dream to make it to Regionals and eventually the Games, but my reality is that I have another 2+ years of training in weightlifting and CrossFit to even make it on a team for regionals. It gets frustrating at times to see these girls in our sport lifting weight that I can only dream of right now, but I am so much more driven by those who succeed with hard work and patience than I am by those who use performance enhancing drugs to succeed. Hard lesson learned but a good one to learn. I just don’t find athletes as impressive once I see this happen.
If they really did want to have a chance at keeping PED’s out of competitions, as well as other sports (baseball, football) there should be a “lifetime ban” plus loss of all sponsorships and prize money from a positive test result! If you make the punishment so severe that it will ruin their career then maybe more will opt not to risk it by taking them.
Wow, people in an unregulated sport that is all about pushing the limits of human physiology are taking PED’s??? No way!!!