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How Theofanidis’ Positive Drug Test Could Affect CrossFit Competition

Lefteris Theofanidis has been found to be in breach of the CrossFit’s Drug Testing Policy, CrossFit HQ announced.

The test was administered at the latest edition of the Dubai CrossFit Championship (DCC) and has been appealed by the Greek athlete.

CrossFit HQ won’t release the sanctioned imposed or list the infraction until the appeal process is over, but whatever the outcome, this positive drug test could potentially have consequences on the CrossFit competitive season.

Here’s why:

Theofanidis finished the 2020 Open ranked third worldwide. He was found to be in breach of CrossFit’s Drug Policy at the DCC which, crucially, happened after the Open.

In theory, this means his Open ranking is not affected. However, the results will affect what happens at the CrossFit Games.

If Theofanidis is banned from competition, this would leave Greece without a National Champion.

There’s no clause on CrossFit’s competition rulebook about backfilling CrossFit Games positions if a National Champion fails a drug test. The only instance where a National Champion position is backfilled – and with it the invitation to the CrossFit Games – is the following:

  • Section 4.02: CrossFit, Inc. will only backfill a national champion spot if the national champion decides to compete as a member of a team that will be competing at the Games.

Yet Theofanidis was also the third best athlete in the world, does that not affect the leaderboard?

According to the Rulebook, if an athlete within the Open Top 20 declines to compete in the Games or is a member of a team that has been invited to compete, CrossFit will backfill the position to the next in line (Section 4.03).

However Theofanidis, as a National Champion, wasn’t counted into the Top 20 to start with. This means with or without him, the Top 20 already has 20 individual athletes on it.

There’s no information in the Rulebook to cover the instance of an athlete being “forced out” of the Top 20, so this scenario might look different had Theofanidis not been a National Champion.

We’ll have to wait for the appeal process to be over to know how if CrossFit will officially leave Greece without a male National Champion for 2020.

Theofanidis placed fourth in the world in last year’s Open and competed at the 2019 CrossFit Games, where he finished 59th.

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