Top American wrestler Warren to miss Olympics after 2nd positive test

Updated: January 16, 2008, 12:02 AM ET
Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Former world wrestling champion Joe Warren will miss the Olympics after an arbitrator upheld the American's two-year suspension for a second positive test for marijuana.

The decision, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, will leave the U.S. team without the 2006 world champion in the Greco Roman 132-pound division.

The seven-page decision outlined Warren's argument that a two-year ban, which makes him ineligible for the Olympics, was too harsh a penalty for using a drug that did not enhance his performance.

Warren, whose therapist diagnosed him with major depression, said he was aware a second positive test would carry a harsh penalty but testified that "it was hard to stop because he needed to use it to help him sleep," the decision said.

The arbitrator said Warren made a good case "for exceptional circumstances regarding his one use of marijuana in May 2007."

But that violation, combined with an earlier positive in 2006, led the arbitrator to rule that the two-year suspension was appropriate.

"Nor is the sanction a violation of fundamental justice and fairness in light of Mr. Warren's several opportunities to avoid putting himself in a position where a positive test finding was likely to be made," the decision read.

Warren's suspension will last through July 22, 2009.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press