American judoka Nicholas Delpopolo has been thrown out of the Olympics after a failed drug test he blamed on inadvertently eating food that had been baked with marijuana.
The 23-year-old has been disqualified from the 73-kilogram class competition by the International Olympic Committee, after finishing seventh.
Delpopolo is the first athlete at the 2012 Games to fail an in-competition drug test and in a statement released by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) he said he was embarrassed by his mistake.
“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 said.
“I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake. I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”
Delpopolo won his opening bouts against fighters from Hong Kong and Belgium before defeats to South Korea and Mongolia put him out of medal contention.
He was tested on July 30 — the day of his competition — and accepted his disqualification after admitting the offense.
“Nick Delpopolo has failed an in-competition drug test (THC, marijuana) and as a result, he has been disqualified from the Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee,” a statement from the USOC said.
“The United States Olympic Committee is absolutely committed to clean competition and stringent anti-doping penalties.
“Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences and we absolutely support the disqualification.”