Updated 08/06/2012 10:01 PM
Local Olympian tests positive for cannabis, expelled from games
An unfortunate end to the Olympics for one local champion. Judo fighter Nick Delpopolo was expelled from the games after testing positive for illegal drugs. As YNN’s Lori Chung reports, it's also a disappointment for those who were rooting him on here at home.
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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. -- "Never lose sight of the dream. That's what kept me going since I was five-years-old. I wanted to be an Olympian and now here I am," Nick Delpopolo said in July.
Wise words from judo fighter Nick Delpopolo before leaving for the London games last month. Now, expelled from the games in shame after testing positive for marijuana.
"It certainly is a disappointing situation, but we still remain very supportive," said Amsterdam YMCA Executive Director Nancy Carr.
The signs on the wall of the Amsterdam YMCA where Delpopolo is a member say as much. Executive Director Nancy Carr says Delpopolo was a role model to younger Y members, often showing them the skills that brought him to the world stage.
"He showed us some of his judo moves, some of his medals," one member said.
Carr said, "I think this is going to be a huge learning experience for Nick, whether it was intentional or unintentional incident."
Delpopolo released a statement blaming his positive test results on “my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana.”
1984 Greco Roman wrestling gold medalist Jeff Blatnick says he knows firsthand how strict the IOC can be on doping. Athletes are even encouraged to avoid over the counter meds.
"There are chemicals within different brands of cold remedies that are either listed as masking agents, trying to hide something that you're taking or potentially could produce a positive test," Blatnick said.
Blatnick says for Olympic athletes, legacy is everything and it's unfortunate that Delpopolo's Olympic dreams ended this way. But says if he's up to it four years from now, the 23-year-old can write a new ending to his story.
“The greatest way to produce a new legacy is to erase the old one,” Blatnick said..
Delpopolo released a statement on his Facebook page which reads in part, "I would like to sincerely apologize to the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Judo, my teammates, my fans and everyone that has supported me throughout my Olympic journey. I'm sorry that I let you down. Judo is my life and competing in the Olympics has always been my dream. I would never intentionally do anything to jeopardize that.”
The family member who admitted to making the brownies with marijuana has sent a confession letter to the Olympic committee, indicating that Delpopolo had no responsibility for his positive test.
Read the decision by the IOC Disciplinary Commission>>