U.S. Track & Field Athlete Demi Payne Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

August 24, 2018

USADA announced today that Demi Payne, of Nacogdoches, Texas, an athlete in the sport of track and field, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a four-year sanction for her violation.

Payne, 26, tested positive for drostanolone and its metabolite, 2α-methyl-5α-androstan-3α-ol-17-one, as the result of an in-competition urine sample she provided on March 12, 2016, at the USA Track and Field Indoor Championship. Drostanolone is a non-Specified Substance in the class of anabolic agents and prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Association of Athletics Federations Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

During USADA’s investigation into the circumstances of Payne’s positive test, an anonymous email was sent to USADA claiming that drinks at the event at which the athlete tested positive were contaminated. Ultimately, after a lengthy and thorough investigation into the email, USADA was able to determine this was not the case.

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Statement from Demi Payne:


“My name is Demi Payne and I am a dedicated pole vaulter, proud mother, and Olympic hopeful.  Two and a half years ago, immediately following the U.S. Indoor Championship, I tested positive for a steroid called Drostanolone, for which I remain unsure of how it entered my body.  I have remained silent since my sanction went public because I needed time to find the right words when I speak my truth and tell my story.


For the past two and a half years, I have made it my mission to prove the truth, that I never knowingly took Drostanolone.  I have spent every dollar I have trying to prove my innocence.  I hired lawyers, took polygraph tests (with truthful outcomes), had my vitamin supplements tested, and have followed every possible lead I’ve received.


Two months ago, after running out of funds and time, I accepted a retroactive ban from the USADA that is set to expire a few months before the 2020 Olympic trials, in which I hope to earn a spot.  Did Drostanolone show up in my system?  Yes.  Do I know how it got there?  No.  It’s as simple as that.  I have remained silent to try and focus on my training and to be the best mother I can be to my daughter.  I am not a perfect person, but I know I am not a liar and the comments I’ve seen on social media, although heartbreaking, will not change the person that I am.


Moving forward, I know I must be more vigilant.  That accidently taking the wrong supplement or drinking the wrong energy drink, can change the course of your life.  I am not blaming anyone or trying to play the victim, I accept full responsibility for somehow encountering the substance, even though I will never know the source.

Despite how difficult this has been, I believe everything happens for a reason and through this I have learned my own strength.  For the next year and half, I will continue to train as hard as I possibly can until the ban is lifted in March of 2020. I am beyond thankful for my friends and family and the people God has placed in my life, that lift me up and give me encouragement when it’s most needed.

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