Olympic Runner Gil Roberts Says Kissing Girlfriend Caused Failed Drug Test

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2017

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20:  Gil Roberts of the United States reacts after winning gold in the Men's 4 x 400 meter Relay on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

An arbitrator ruled American runner Gil Roberts, who won a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, "met his burden of proof" to show kissing his girlfriend caused him to fail a March drug test. 

On Friday, Scooby Axson of Sports Illustrated noted Roberts said he was "frequently and passionately" kissing his girlfriend in the days before the test and she had been taking a sinus infection medication, which he said caused the failed test. The final arbitration ruling cleared him of wrongdoing.

Johanna Gretschel of FloTrack noted the runner had tested positive for probenecid, which can be used as a masking agent for steroids and other performance-enhancing substances. It's also found in Moxylong, the medication his girlfriend, Alex Salazar, took during a trip to India.

Dr. Pascal Kintz, who testified as Roberts' expert witness in the arbitration case, said the "low concentration" of the drug found in the runner's system would not provide drug-masking effects, according to the final ruling.

The 28-year-old Oklahoma native joined Arman Hall, Tony McQuay and LaShawn Merritt to help the United States win the 4x400-meter relay at last year's Summer Games. It was his first career Olympic medal.

Roberts is now eligible to compete in the IAAF World Championships in August after qualifying at last month's USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships while awaiting the hearing.