Nick Delpopolo, an America judo fighter, was expelled from the Olympic Games on Monday after testing positive for marijuana. Delpopolo has stated that he accidentally ate the marijuana before he arrived in London for the games.
Delpopolo is the first athlete to fail an in-competition doping test after he competed on July 30th. Four other athletes tested positive for a banned substance before competing in the games.
After placing seventh in the men’s 73-kilogram class, Delpopolo tested positive for cannabis metabolites and was ejected by the International Olympic Committee.
In a statement released by the US Olympic Committee, Delpopolo explained, “My positive test was caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize 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 I can be.”
The US Olympic Committee spoke up in support of disqualifying the athlete. The organization’s spokesman stated that the US Olympic team is “absolutely committed to clean competition.” He continued that, “Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences.”
The International Olympic Committee asked the International Judo Federation to alter the standings in Delpopolo’s event. Judo’s governing body may also bring additional sanctions against him. The 23-year-old judo fighter grew up in New Jersey and hopes to balance a professional career with his athletic career in the future.