U.S. judo star Delpopolo expelled after positive drug test

U.S. judo fighter Nicholas Delpopolo, shown visiting the USA House at the Royal College of Art in London last week, is the first U.S. athlete to test positive for a banned drug during the London Olympics.
(Joe Scarnici / Getty Images)

LONDON -- U.S. judoka Nicholas Delpopolo, who placed seventh in his division at the Olympics, has been thrown out of the London Games after testing positive for marijuana.

The judo fighter, of Westfield, N.J., issued a statement of apology, saying that the test was caused by a “mistake.”

“My positive test was caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana, before I left for the Olympic Games. 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 re-dedicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”


The International Olympic Committee announced his disqualification on Monday afternoon and said that the positive drug test came after his competition in the 73-kilogram division on July 30.

Said U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky: “Nick Delpopolo has failed an in-competition drug test (THC, marijuana) and as a result, he has been disqualified from the Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee. The United States Olympic Committee is absolutely committed to clean competition and stringent anti-doping penalties.

“Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences and we absolutely support the disqualification. We look forward to witnessing the continued success of our athletes and commend their dedication to clean sport.”

Delpopolo is the first U.S. athlete to test positive during the London Olympics.



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