J.C. Cruse, a bobsled brakeman hopeful for the 2018 Winter Olympics, has been issued a 16-month doping ban and won't compete at Pyeongchang next February, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced Thursday.
Cruse tested positive for the banned stimulant dimethylbutylamine (DMBA) in a urine sample taken at the North American Cup on January 12, the date his period of ineligibility begins, ending any chance for him to qualify or compete in next year's Winter Olympics.
USADA accepted Cruse's explanation that the positive test was caused by his taking a dietary supplement.
An analysis of the supplement done at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City showed levels of DMBA even though it was not listed on the supplement facts label, which did indicate the presence of another banned substance, dimethylamylamine (DMAA).
The current version of the supplement, which lists DMAA as an ingredient but contains DMBA, was added to USADA's high risk list of supplements in April, three months after Cruse used it.
USADA ruled Cruse's perceived risk level was reduced because he had never been in a registered testing pool of athletes and had never received formal anti-doping education.
Cruse, 28, was a small-college basketball and American football standout at Albion College before graduating in 2011.
The Detroit native had hoped for a chance at the NFL but a friend signed him up for bobsled tryouts and he posted the top score at a 2016 combine that led to a spot on the 2016 development roster.
He had worked in two- and four-man sleds with US pilot Geoff Gadbois and taken part in events at Calgary and Park City, Utah.