The career of LaShawn Merritt, the defending 400-m Olympic champ who has yet to lose a race this season, almost crashed in 2010, when he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Merritt claimed he accidentally ingested DHEA, a banned steroid hormone, while taking a sexual-enhancement pill. An arbitration panel found Merritt’s defense credible, especially after a 7-Eleven worker who saw Merritt buy the drug, called ExtenZe, testified on his behalf. Merritt, 26, won reinstatement and is the favorite to take the 400.
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