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Report: Lindsey Vonn faced surprise drug test at “Fashion Oscars”

Jun 5, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT

Associated Press Associated Press

According to New York Post sources, Vancouver downhill champ Lindsey Vonn had to undergo mandatory drug testing Monday night while attending the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, aka: the “Fashion Oscars.”

Vonn was at New York’s Lincoln Center with designer Cynthia Rowley, who designed the skiers dress for the evening, when the gold medalist got a surprise call from US Anti-Doping Agency testers. They were outside the venue and wanted to take an immediate sample from the athlete.

Rowley reportedly escorted the testers into the event, where they met Vonn in the restroom about five minutes later. Vonn gave them a urine sample and was then apparently told to “have fun.”

The timing is curious, since Vonn has just recently started training again after suffering a grisly knee injury in February. But it also wouldn’t be the first time an Olympic champ has been surprised with a drug test this spring: Aly Raisman was similarly met by USADA testers while shooting a segment about Dancing with the Stars for Access Hollywood Live last month.

“They haven’t [tested me] since the Olympics,” Raisman said. “And they choose the finale week of Dancing with the Stars… Out of all the days since the Olympics, they choose, like, the craziest week.”

But according to Tom Kelly of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, athletes are well aware of the practice, and should be prepared to be tested at anytime, in or out of season.

“All elite athletes in all sports are always on call for testing 24/7/365,” Kelly explained. “Testing can and does occur at any time. Athletes are required to report their whereabouts at all times.”


USADA spokesperson Annie Skinner confirmed to Olympic Talk that Vonn was tested in New York:

“She provided USADA with her location information indicating she would be in New York and we performed a test collection on her there. We appreciate her professionalism and for accommodating this process, which at times can be inconvenient. Her sample was collected in accordance with the standard protocols and will be processed by a WADA-accredited laboratory. This real-life example demonstrates the commitment of our elite Olympic athletes and the accommodations they make for the inconvenience of drug testing, in order to ensure the ideals of clean sport are upheld.”

  1. archiekanye - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Aly Raisman was tested by WADA not USADA

  2. LogicalConsideration - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    While on the one hand the rule that they can be tested anywhere, anytime is a necessary one, they undermine respect for the process when they exercise their authority in such capricious ways. How about you show up 3 hours earlier and test her at her hotel room? Or, the next morning bright and early? Almost like the testers were looking for an excuse to get walked through a celebrity shindig for free.

    Hmm, athletes from other sports attend the Super Bowl. Why not show up to test at the Super Bowl and get in the gate?

    • florida727 - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Couldn’t agree more, #logical. When I read the article, two thoughts ran through my brain (short trip, for the record): 1) I’d be ticked off that they do it in such a high-profile environment, but 2) if I don’t have anything to hide, would I really care? But definitely they could choose to be a little more discreet about their process as you mentioned, especially if like the article indicates, she provided them with her itinerary and they had easy access to her. It’s almost like they approached her when and where and how they approached her for the specific purpose of getting some free publicity. Begs the question: why? Can’t you just go about your job, do it professionally, and be secure in the knowledge that you’re helping sports stay clean?

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