100m world junior record holder suspended for doping

Suriname’s Issam Asinga, who only two weeks ago stunned the athletics world by shattering the U20 100m world record at the South American Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for the alleged use or presence of a prohibited substance . The suspension, which went into effect Wednesday and was announced by the AIU on Friday, is for the presence of GW1516, a substance that modifies how the body metabolizes fat, and which can boost endurance.

Provisional suspensions are issued before a hearing to determine whether the charges warrant any official punishment.

Botswana’s Nijel Amos, who won silver in the 800m at the 2012 Olympics in London, received a provisional suspension last year for the presence of the same metabolite ahead of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore. He ended up receiving a three-year ban.

GW1516 was originally developed to treat obesity and diabetes, but is not approved for human use, since it was discovered to be carcinogenic. It is banned in and out of competition, and not eligible for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). A USADA bulletin from 2019 says GW1516 is also sometimes known as cardarine or endurobol and has been found in some supplements, even though it is illegal. In 2017, there were 31 sanctions worldwide related to its use.

The 18-year-old Asinga clocked an impressive 9.89 seconds with a tailwind of (-0.8m/s) on July 28 to become the first South American sprinter to break the 10-second barrier in the 100m. His blazing run surpassed the previous record of 9.91 seconds set by Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo at last year’s World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, and also broke the South American area record, bettering the 10.00 mark set by Brazil’s Robson da Silva in 1988.

In addition to claiming a world record in Brazil, Asinga’ also picked up a free PlayStation 5 with his performance. A tweet posted last week shows retired American sprinter Justin Gatlin handing Asinga the video game console with the caption “The special moment when Justin Gatlin promised Issam Asinga a PS5 if he ran a legal 9.8 and he delivered!”

Asinga has made headlines in the 2023 season, running for Montverde Academy near Orlando, Fla. Earlier this year, he beat world champion Noah Lyles in a 100m race to break the U.S. high school record, and a week later, broke Lyles’s 200m high school record in 19.97 seconds.

The provisional suspension appears to have dashed Asinga’s dreams for gold at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest later this month, where he was set to run the double. The sprinter has plans to head to Texas A&M University in the NCAA on a full track and field scholarship this fall.

posted Saturday August 12th
by Running Magazine