Gil Roberts
Gil Roberts. Photo: Team USA

Gold-medal-winning sprinter and Los Angeles resident Gil Roberts scored a major victory Thursday when an appeals court accepted his contention that he failed a drug test last year because he had been passionately kissing his girlfriend.

Roberts, who won a gold medal in the 4×400 relay at the 2016 Rio Games, tested positive for a substance called probenecid in March 2017. He contended he was tested after passionately kissing his girlfriend, Alex Salazar.

According to testimony before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in New York, Salazar said she had fallen ill while vacationing with family in India, where she visited a doctor and was given an antibiotic that contained probenecid.

According to the New York Times, Salazar testified before the court that on March 24, 2017, after she had returned to Los Angeles from India, she and Roberts were at his apartment and were kissing. She was still taking the medication at the time.

Roberts told the Times “there could have been tongue kissing, but it was more that she kissed me so soon after taking the medicine.”

A drug-testing officer showed up around 4 p.m. that day to collect a urine sample from Roberts.

In its ruling, the CAS accepted the explanation that the substance got into Roberts’ system by kissing his girlfriend. Roberts could have been banned from competition for up to four years, threatening his eligibility for the 2020 Olympics.

An independent arbitrator made a similar ruling last year on an expedited basis, which allowed Roberts to compete at the U.S. Championships in August. But the World Anti-Doping Association appealed the ruling, leading to the CAS hearing.

–City News Service

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