United States pairs figure skater Jessica Calalang, who could make the Olympic team for the 2022 Winter Olympics, has had a recent suspension overturned. Calalang had tested positive for a banned substance back in January at the national championships, and finally was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Calalang had tested positive for 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (4-CPA), which is a USADA-prohibited substance.
"We were kind of retracing our steps and trying to figure what could it possibly be," Calalang said. "We've been elite athletes for quite a while and are very aware of what we put in our bodies. We knew we didn't do anything purposely to put that in jeopardy."
When Calalang received an email on Feb. 12 regarding the drug violation, she was preparing for the world championships, which were scheduled for March 1.
"I only had two weeks or so to figure out where this came from, and for those two weeks I was scrambling, trying to rack my brain where it could come from," Calalang added. "We were in a bubble for nationals, which did help narrow it down eventually. We had sent in a few products to get tested. We were putting a rush on everything."
As a result of the violation, Calalang and her partner, Brian Johnson, were forced to withdraw from the world championships. Due to the violation, Calalang and Johnson weren't able to participate in any United States Figure Skating sanctioned or sponsored events until the matter was resolved.
It turned out that Calalang's violation was because of makeup that she used. The USADA found that chlorphenesin, which is a non-prohibited preservative found in lotions and shampoos, can metabolize into 4-CPA.
"I had used all the same makeup before," she says, "and it was just a big shock to me," Calalang said.
In June, Calalang's attorney, Howard Jacobs, informed Calalang that that were potential changes in rules relating to 4-CPA that were being voted on at the end of September. If those new rules passed, there wouldn't be any violation on her end.
On Sept. 30, Calalang was fully cleared of any violations by WADA and USADA. Now Calalang and Johnson are free to participate in any figure skating competitions.
The duo finished fourth last weekend at an event in Finland as they attempt to build their resume in advance of the Beijing Olympics.