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US Olympian Nicholas Delpopolo Expelled for Dope

London Olympics Judo Men
Nicholas Delpopolo of the United States competes with Chi Yip Cheung of Hong Kong during the men’s 73-kg judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 30, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Nicholas Delpopolo
Nicholas Delpopolo of the United States competes with Chi Yip Cheung of Hong Kong during the men's 73-kg judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 30, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Olympic Committee disqualified Nicholas Delpopolo, an American Judo fighter on Monday after he tested positive for marijuana use a week after his competition.

The 23-year-old reportedly said the result of the test was due to an “inadvertent consumption” of a baked good that had been made with marijuana.

Delpopolo, who was born in Yugoslavia and adopted by a New Jersey family, was apologetic to his fans, teammates and to the United States Olympic Committee.

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

The United States Olympic Committee released a statement agreeing with the exculpation of Delpopolo.

“The (USOC) is absolutely committed to clean competition and stringent anti-doping penalties,” the committee said. “Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences.”

Delpopolo was the first athlete to fail the drug test after competition began. Four other athletes were disqualified prior to the start of the games.

Delpopolo finished 7th in his weight class and accepted the disqualification. He was sent back the United States almost immediately.

Delpopolo waived his right to have his disqualification examined by the Disciplinary
Commission.

The London Ggames have taken a different strategy in doping prevention. Olympic games in the past have carried out testing randomly whereas in London testing is done upon information acquired from various sources inside and outside of the Olympics.

The cause of Delpopolo’s testing is unclear.

He could face more consequences from judo’s governing body per the International Olympic Committee’s request.

Delpopolo plans to take a break from judo until 2014, when he will begin preparing for the 2016 games.

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