On April 1st, CrossFit HQ released this statement regarding the suspension of Charis Chan, a two-time Regional competitor:
“CrossFit, Inc. has been informed and believes that Charis Chan failed a drug test at the American Open Weightlifting [AOW] Championships. While Chan is disputing the results and has not yet been officially sanctioned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), CrossFit, Inc. is suspending her from further participation in the current CrossFit Games season pursuant to Rule 11 of the 2016 CrossFit Games Drug Testing Program. Her results will be removed from the Open Leaderboard and invitations to the California Regional will be adjusted. CrossFit will issue a final ruling on her competition status for following seasons once her appeal has been decided.”
Chan had previously competed at the AOW in 2014 in the -58kg (127-) class, finishing third. In 2015, she competed in the 53kg (117-) class at the AOW, breaking a Senior American record in the snatch by lifting 86kg (189.6 lbs). However, this is the competition where Chan failed her drug test. There were rumors in the weightlifting community that Chan had failed the test back in January (the AOW took place in December of 2015), but it’s important to note that the USADA is yet to officially sanction her. Even so, CrossFit HQ has removed Chan’s 2016 Open results from the leaderboard, where she finished 10th in the Northern California Region, opening a free spot for an athlete to compete at the California Regional.
Chan is currently disputing the results from the AOW test and her suspension from CrossFit HQ, as evidenced by her recent post on Instagram:
“In December I was informed that my sample collected at the 2015 USA Weightlifting American Open tested positive for a prohibited substance. This came as a huge surprise and shock to me as I have never taken a drug or steroid, and have no idea where this substance came from. I’ve taken drug tests in the past for various competitions and they have always tested negative. CrossFit has decided to suspend me for the rest of the 2016 season and take down my scores from the leaderboard. This is heartbreaking for me because I am a clean athlete and performed these workouts to the best of my ability. This year I finished 10th in Northern California, my best finish to date, and I stand by my hard work and this placing. I know most of you only know me through social media, but those who know me personally would tell you that I am an honest person. I believe in taking responsibility for all actions, whether good or bad. I would never cheat or lie to get ahead and taking any kind of performance enhancing drug or prohibited substance is completely against my morals. The accolades and titles are appreciated, but at the end of the day it is about giving 110 percent and achieving goals through hard work and persistence. I am doing everything in my power to determine where the prohibited substance came from and am in the process of appealing the test with USADA. Additionally, on January 26, 2016 USADA performed a random drug test and that test came back negative. I have trained non-stop for the past four years and have devoted endless hours in the gym. What first started as a fun hobby has transformed into a career and a huge part of my life. My goal was to become one of the top athletes in CrossFit and weightlifting, while also remaining honest and humble. It is also equally important to me that I continue to help and inspire others through coaching and being a good role model. I want everyone to believe that anything is possible regardless of size, gender or ethnicity. There’s still a lot of unknown information at this point, and I will try to provide updates. I will continue to train both in CrossFit and weightlifting, and I will not stop doing what I love to do…”
Chan is the second high-profile name to be suspended for drug-violations during this year’s Games season. In March, 2013 Games competitor Natalie Newhart tested positive for the anabolic agent oxandrolone. She has been suspended for two years.