Team USA judo athlete Nicholas Delpopolo blames food 'baked with marijuana' after disqualification from London 2012 Olympics for failing drugs test


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The Independent Online

An American athlete has become the first to be kicked out of the London 2012 Olympic Games after failing a drugs test. Judo fighter Nicholas Delpopolo tested positive for a drug linked to cannabis use after his defeat in the repechage stage.

Mr Delpopolo, who competed in the 73kg division, will have his seventh-place finished rescinded and will be told to return his diploma for competing in the Games. The test was taken on 30 July immediately after he lost to Mongolian Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal.

He apologised to Team USA in a statement, in which he also acknowledged that he was “embarrassed” by his mistake.

He said: “My positive test was caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realise had been baked with marijuana, before I left for the Olympic Games.

“I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that Mr Delpopolo, 23, tested positive for metabolites of cannabis, indicating its recent use.

An IOC statement read: "The International Olympic Committee today announced that it has disqualified American judoka Nicholas Delpopolo from the men's 73kg judo event of the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London.

"Immediately after his participation in the event on 30 July, Delpopolo, 23, provided a urine sample that tested positive for the prohibited substance 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid."

The International Judo Federation has been instructed to modify their results and “consider any further action within its own competence”.