The reigning U.S. weightlifting champion in the men’s super heavyweight division has been suspended for two years after using human growth hormone.
Pat Mendes, 21, of Las Vegas, who became a YouTube sensation as the “Strongest Teen in America” for videos of his lifts, tested positive for HGH and then admitted his use of the muscle-building substance, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said in a release on its website.
Mendes was considered a medal contender in his weight class, above 105 kilograms (231 pounds), at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. He will be ineligible until March 2014.
“This case demonstrates yet again that the HGH test works to stop this dangerous drug from being used in sport,” Travis Tygart, USADA’s chief executive officer, said in the release.
Mendes was the first athlete punished by USADA for HGH use, agency spokeswoman Annie Skinner said yesterday in an e-mail. Former New York Mets first baseman Mike Jacobs failed a test for HGH in August and was banned for 50 games in the minor leagues.
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