American judo fighter Nicholas Delpopolo was expelled from the Olympics today for failing a drug test, which he said was caused by mistakenly eating something that had been baked with pot.
"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," Delpopolo, 23, said in a statement released by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Delpopolo's expulsion from the games came after he placed seventh in the 73-kilogram judo event on July 30. Immediately after competing, Delpopolo, who is from New Jersey, provided a urine sample that tested positive for a chemical found in marijuana. Delpopolo is the first of the 10,500 athletes in London to fail an in-competition drug test.
The International Olympic Committee disqualified Delpopolo from the event and ordered that his diploma be reallocated to the fighters who placed beneath him.
"I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake," Delpopolo said in a statement. "I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be."
The U.S. Olympic Committee released a statement supporting Delpopolo's disqualification.
"[The USOC] absolutely committed to clean competition and stringent anti-doping penalties," spokesman Patrick Sandusky said. "Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences and we absolutely support the disqualification."
The announcement of Delpopolo's expulsion came the same day that Algerian runner Taoufik Makhloufi was expelled and then reinstated after he did not give his best efforts in the first round of the 800-meter event.
Makhloufi had already won his 1,500-meter semifinal Sunday, putting him in contention for a gold in that event. He intended to withdraw from the 800-meter race, but failed to do so before the deadline.
Makhloufi had stopped running completely before he had gotten 200 meters into the race. After reviewing "evidence provided by the [Olympic organizers'] medical officer," Makhloufi's disqualification in the 1,500-meter event was revoked.
Makhloufi, 24, was the latest in a series of athletes penalized at the London Games for not giving their full efforts to their competitions.
Eight women badminton players from South Korea, China, and Indonesia were sent home earlier in the games for trying to throw matches in order to get more favorable quarterfinal seeds last week.
Two days later, British cyclist Philip Hindes told reporters that he had crashed his bicycle on purpose to get his team a restart in the team sprint event. The British team won the restarted race, and the IOC said it would not investigate the incident.