Iain Kidd confirms USADA already investigated the elevated T:E ratio that Texas used to convict Cortney Casey, and they found her innocent.
On May 26th, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) informed the media that Cortney Casey had “failed” a test for performance enhancing drugs, fined her $5,000, overturned her victory and suspended her for 90 days. Problem is, her test results don’t actually show performance enhancing drug use.
The TDLR took action based on an extremely flawed understanding of drug testing, as I pointed out at the time. Since then the UFC has paid for followup testing on her Texas sample—testing which would be required before declaring guilt under any competent PED testing regimen—and the test came back clean.
As it happens, Casey is under the jurisdiction of a competent PED testing regimen: USADA. I have been able to confirm that USADA has previously taken samples from Casey that showed an elevated T:E ratio. They then performed IRMS testing on several of those samples and determined that the elevated ratio wasn’t caused by performance enhancing drugs. That’s why competent testing regimes use IRMS testing.
Remember, USADA have tested Casey several times over the last couple years and I’m told her T:E ratio has been consistently elevated, which means this wasn’t a case of Texas catching something USADA may have missed. An elevated T:E ratio is just normal for Cortney; there are plenty of totally legal and normal reasons for an elevated ratio. USADA has far more data than Texas and they investigate anomalies in much more depth than the TDLR, yet they didn’t find evidence of PED use.
A USADA spokesperson gave the following statement on the record:
“It is well-known in the scientific community that T/E ratios exceeding 4:1 can result from natural physiological causes rather than doping. That’s why elevated T/E ratios must be carefully evaluated using isotope ratio mass spectrometry as well as a longitudinal review of available samples using the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).
Based on our analysis of multiple samples collected from Ms. Casey under the UFC Anti-Doping Program and our assessment of her ABP, USADA has found no evidence indicating that she used prohibited substances. All of the data from her tests is consistent with a normal steroid profile.”
Remember, the TDLR was informed it could access Casey’s athlete biological passport data. Jeff Novitzky told several officials that IRMS testing is required under WADA guidelines before sanctioning an athlete. This is information Texas had access to. They chose not to use it.
At least as of June 25th, the TDLR hadn’t even bothered to reach out to USADA to ask about Casey’s data. They still haven’t cleared Casey, despite being notified that her B sample came back clean after IRMS testing on June 22nd.
USADA has gone out of its way to assist in this case. They’ve offered data they aren’t strictly obligated to offer and let the UFC know that their ABP data on Casey suggested she was innocent. Most of the time we hear about USADA when they’re finding athletes guilty. This episode proves they’re just as serious about helping innocent athletes avoid unjust punishment.