A 23-year-old American athlete was sent home from the Olympics today after he was tested positive for marijuana.
Judo champion Nicholas Delpopolo, from Westfield, New Jersey, told Olympic officials he accidentally ate something he did not realized before head had been baked with the recreational drug.
Delpopolo issued a statement saying in part: “I apologize to the U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake…..I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”
Although he is the first of the 10,500 games athletes to fail an in-competition doping test, officials said Delpopolo’s case is the fifth positive test for a banned substance reported by the IOC since its official London Games testing period began in mid-July. The other four athletes were caught before competing.
Delpopolo, who placed seventh in the men’s 73-kilogram class, was tested positive on July 30 and sent home today.
The IOC said it would now ask the International Judo Federation to alter the standings in Delpopolo’s event.
Delpopolo, who was born Petra Perovic in the former Yugoslavia but changed his name after he was adopted by an American family, faces further sanctions as the IOC requested that the judo’s governing body “consider any further action with its own competence.”
He waived his right for his case to be heard before the Disciplinary Commission.