The CrossFit Games has announced drugs bans for five athletes including four-time Masters champion Shawn Ramirez and Kelli Holm.

The 44-year-old Ramirez, who finished second in men’s 40-44 category at the 2018 Games in Madison, Wisconsin, was handed a four-year suspension until September 2022 after testing positive for banned substances GW1516 and Ostarine.

Holm, a two-time Masters competitor at the Games who finished fourth in the women’s 35-39 category earlier this summer, also tested positive for GW1516.

However, Holm had her ban reduced to two years until September 2020 upon appeal after proving she had ingested a contaminated supplement.

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Brazil’s Vivian Bomfim and Andre Sanches – who finished third in the 2018 women’s and men’s Latin America Regionals – have also been given four-year bans until June 2022, along with Fabio Botteghi of Italy, for failing CrossFit’s drug testing policy in their bids to qualify for the Games.

The additional suspensions announced by US organisers late on Wednesday local time took the overall number of athletes suspended this year to 19.

Four-time Games athlete Emily Abbott was the most high-profile of the original 14 athletes banned earlier this summer.

“There are additional athletes who have been notified of a banned substance violation,” a statement said. “Further results will be released when their appeals processes are complete.”

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Ramirez protested his innocence on Instagram in a lengthy post, saying he was “floored” and “taken aback” when notified he had tested positive.

“The amounts they found were so small 0.02 ng/ml and 0.3ng/ml, which were provided by CrossFit upon request,” he wrote. “The only thing that makes any sense is that there was a contaminated substance that I was taking.

“This unfortunately is happening more often than not to other professional athletes, MMA fighters, Olympians, where these companies are spiking their natural products to sell more and have more effects.

“All the products I was taking are 100 per cent natural and I haven’t changed anything for five years. We have a saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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#tbt with my Boys. For those of you that know me, the character driven man I am, father, husband and LOYAL friend, this is for you. You know me well enough that I would NEVER take anything to jeopardize everything I worked so hard to achieve these last 5 years. Which as the you and the world knows, after all my podium finishes, I was immediately tested and always tested clean. When CF notified me that I tested positive for GW1516 and Ostarine, I was floored! I have been in constant communication with CF and was really taken back when they released the findings. The amounts they found were so small 0.02 ng/ml and 0.3ng/ml, which were provided by CrossFit upon request. The only thing that makes any sense is that there was a contaminated substance that I was taking. This unfortunately is happening more often than not to other professional athletes, MMA fighters, Olympians, where these companies are spiking their natural products to sell more and have more effects. All the products I was taking are 100% natural and I haven't changed anything for 5 years. We have a saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I am personally paying out of my pocket to continue my appeal, and have all the 8 products I was taking tested. I will disclose all of these, which I already did to CF which they stated were all legal and be 100% transparent with everyone this week. I have nothing to hide, I only wish CF would have granted me the time to finish testing all the products before they released the trace findings. I'm more hurt than anything because I have dedicated 10 years of my Life to this Sport and did not expect, this in return & to go out like this. To ALL of you that know me, follow me, believe in me and shown all the LOVE over the past decade, Thank You for your Support and I WILL get through this. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

A post shared by Shawn C. Ramirez (@shawn_theram) on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:39pm PST

Ramirez said he would continue his appeal. and that he is having all eight of the products he was taking tested.

“I have nothing to hide, I only wish CF [CrossFit] would have granted me the time to finish testing all the products before they released the trace findings,” he said.

“I’m more hurt than anything because I have dedicated 10 years of my life to this sport and did not expect this in return and to go out like this.”

CrossFit says it adheres to the standards set by the World Anti-Doping Association (Wada).

“To protect the integrity of the competition and its athletes, CrossFit works hard to ensure a level playing field … by strongly enforcing an anti-doping policy – an absolute necessity in order to crown the Fittest on Earth,” a statement said.

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Holm also vented her frustrations on Instagram, saying she was “completely shocked and confused” to be notified of a failed test a few weeks ago.

She claimed one of her supplements, which was “a common and well-known pre-workout powder”, proved to be contaminated with GW1516 when she tested it.

“At the conclusion of the 2018 CrossFit Games, I was honestly thrilled to take a drug test,” she said. “I had placed well in my division, and I was happy to prove that it was all done clean. There was no doubt in my mind I would pass … I have never taken a banned substance of any kind.

“On the contrary, I feel my coach and I have been extremely cautious and mindful about every substance that goes into my body.

“I try to use products tested by third parties whenever possible, or products that are widely used and accepted within the CrossFit community.”

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At the conclusion of the 2018 Crossfit Games, I was honestly thrilled to take a drug test. I had placed well in my division, and I was happy to prove that it was all done clean. There was no doubt in my mind I would pass. ▪️ A number of weeks ago, I received an email from Crossfit stating that I had failed my drug test. I was completely shocked and confused. I have never taken a banned substance of any kind. On the contrary, I feel my coach and I have been extremely cautious and mindful about every substance that goes into my body. I try to use products tested by third parties whenever possible, or products that are widely used and accepted within the CrossFit community. ▪️ The substance found was 0.02ng/mL (20 trillionths of a gram) of “a metabolite of GW1516". This meant nothing to me, having never heard of it before. It was suggested that I should test the supplements I still had from my time at the CrossFit Games, and one of those supplements (a common and well-known pre-workout powder) proved to be contaminated with GW1516 (I have been advised not to name the brand at this time). Crossfit has acknowledged that the supplement was indeed contaminated, however because this product was not third-party tested, they are holding me responsible for ingesting the unlisted ingredient. ▪️ I would never choose to disrespect my fellow athletes through cheating and I apologize that I am even linked to a failed test. I know God will surely use this experience and time away from competing in a way that glorifies Him and molds me. And for me to want anything beyond His glory and the shaping of my heart would be futile. While this is quite a blow to my competition goals, I will continue to pursue this sport and remain a part of this community that I love.

A post shared by Kelli Nygren Holm (@kelliholm) on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:34pm PST

Holm said the substance found was “0.02ng/mL (20 trillionths of a gram) of a metabolite of GW1516”, and that she had never heard of the substance before.

“CrossFit has acknowledged that the supplement was indeed contaminated, however because this product was not third-party tested, they are holding me responsible for ingesting the unlisted ingredient,” she said.

“I would never choose to disrespect my fellow athletes through cheating and I apologise that I am even linked to a failed test.

“While this is quite a blow to my competition goals, I will continue to pursue this sport and remain a part of this community that I love.”

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