USA gold medalist Conor Dwyer retires after receiving doping ban for 2020 Olympics

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Conor Dwyer announced his retirement on Friday after receiving a 20-month suspension for doping.

Dwyer drew the 20-month ban for having testosterone pellets inserted into his hip. The United States swimmer tested positive on three separate occasions from Nov. 15 to Dec. 20 of 2018, which means that he wouldn't have been able to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"Regardless of the result of the arbitration ruling, I have decided to retire from swimming to pursue other professional interests," Dwyer said in a post on his Instagram account.

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Today i’m announcing my retirement from professional swimming. It has been an incredible ride and I have accomplished more than my wildest dreams. It was an honor to represent my country alongside my teammates. Thank you to my coaches for teaching me that you can achieve anything if you out work everyone. To my mom who taught me how to swim, to my parents who took me to swim practice when it was 5am and subzero in Chicago and sacrificed so much for me because they believed in me and my dreams. Thank you to all my siblings and cousins for never missing a single meet, for being my rock throughout this unforgettable ride. To all the friends and teammates that have been there, old and new, I cherish every moment and memories we have made throughout the years. I have always felt that swimming chose me- it has and will always have a very special place in my heart. This is an unfortunate end to an incredible chapter of my life. I believe that things happen for a reason, and I can’t wait to share with you all the next chapter of my life.

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A three-person arbitration panel heard the case and determined that Dwyer worked with a nutritionist that advised him to have the pellets inserted into his hip. Dwyer's doctor allegedly spoke with an official at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, who said that the pellets were legal.  

However, neither Dwyer's doctor or Dwyer himself ever spoke with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which has a list of banned substances that are available to the public and there's also a hotline available to ask questions regarding what's legal and what isn't. "It's frustrating that Mr. Dwyer did not take advantage of this support, and hopefully, this case will convince others to do so in order to protect fair and healthy competition for all athletes," USADA CEO Travis Tygart told The Associated Press.

Dwyer received a slightly smaller ban based on the fact that he claimed to use the pellets for health reasons rather than performance.

The American swimmer won gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Dwyer competed as part of the 4x200 relay teams in the 2012 Games in London and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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