Jackson ‘Huntley’ Nash receives lifetime ban from USADA

Nash was sanctioned for a litany of offenses stemming from an investigation spurred by a whistleblower.

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Jackson “Huntley” Nash has been handed a lifetime ban by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for multiple anti-doping rule violations, the organization announced Wednesday.

The ban comes as the result of an investigation by USADA, rather than a positive doping test. Nash was previously named in two SafeSport complaints, one from New Zealand national champion Olivia Ray and another from cyclist Madeline Pearce. USADA points to an unnamed whistleblower in December 2021 as the origin of its investigation.

Nash was sanctioned for a litany of offenses, according to the USADA statement:

  • Use or Attempted Use of Prohibited Substances, including testosterone, clenbuterol, oxandrolone, and anastrozole
  • Tampering or Attempted Tampering with any Part of Doping Control by interfering with USADA’s investigation
  • Possession of Prohibited Substances, including testosterone, clenbuterol, oxandrolone, and anastrozole
  • Trafficking or Attempted Trafficking of Prohibited Substances clenbuterol and oxandrolone to another athlete
  • Administration or Attempted Administration of Prohibited Substances human growth hormone, clenbuterol, and oxandrolone to another athlete
  • Complicity or Attempted Complicity by encouraging another athlete to use prohibited substances
  • Retaliation by filing a meritless petition for a protective order against an individual based in part on the individual’s report to USADA of Nash’s anti-doping rule violations

“This is yet another case that demonstrates the power of investigations in the shared fight to protect sport and athletes’ rights,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “As always, we will thoroughly investigate and act on evidence of doping violations, and greatly appreciate the assistance of those who come forward on behalf of clean sport.”

The backstory

Much of the evidence for USADA’s investigation into Nash came to light as part of a family violence hearing in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia on January 11, 2022. Ray, the current New Zealand champion, was called as a witness in that case in support of her then-boyfriend, Nash.

In that case, Nash was attempting to secure a protective order against a former girlfriend of his, Madeline Pearce – another cyclist, who was at the time a close friend of Ray’s – on the basis that Pearce was stalking him. [The judge found a “complete lack of evidence with respect to any stalking in nature.”]

A large part of the case centered around Pearce’s apparent attempts to help Ray escape from an abusive relationship with Nash [Nash denies any abuse]. On December 9, during the same week that controversy around a Lion’s Den criterium payment was swirling around Ray, who won the race, Ray reached out to a domestic violence hotline, according to court documents.

On December 15, 2021, Pearce helped Ray pack to leave Nash’s house whilst he was out, and Ray also filed a police report. Two days later, Ray sent her a message saying that “you saved my life multiple times. I’m sorry it’s got you caught up into it.”  

On December 17, 2021, Pearce filed a SafeSport complaint against Nash. Ray followed suit a day or two later, alleging that he had strangled her and had left her with bruises on her legs and hip.

Around the same time, USADA launched its investigation.

Uncovered in the Nash vs Pearce case were photos taken by Pearce on December 15, 2021 that appeared to show the presence of anastrozole, clenbuterol, testosterone, and syringes in the bedroom Nash and Ray shared at that time. Nash denied using anastrozole at the time, though he did admit he had a prescription. He said he had “never heard of” clenbuterol, and he declined to comment on the syringes in his house.

In an interview with the New Zealand Herald in July, Ray admitted to using banned substances in November of 2021. “I wasn’t racing,” she said. “I wasn’t going to have anything in me for when I raced. I thought in a way it was acceptable because I wasn’t affecting the race, I wasn’t cheating. I was doing it in a safe space on my own to see what it was like. That was the thinking that he had created, ‘just try it blah blah blah … ‘”

“He” refers to Nash, according to the New Zealand Herald story.

Text messages that were purportedly between Ray and Nash – screenshots of which have been viewed by CyclingTips – appeared to show a discussion on how to avoid detection for performance-enhancing substances. The two discussed timing the use of Anavar – an anabolic steroid – so that it would not be detectable in time for a blood test at a January training camp. The texts also appeared to refer to substance side effects and clenbuterol: “for clen, jitters get easier, sleep is easier too.”

Nash’s lifetime ban began on June 30, 2022, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. His results on and subsequent to December 15, 2021, have been disqualified.

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