South African CrossFit athlete Jason Smith has been on the rise in the sport, coming out as one of the greatest athletes in the entire continent of Africa. He’s well known in the region as one of the premiere talents looking to make his mark on the biggest stage. However, his journey took a turn for the worse recently, as Jason revealed some unfortunate news. In a recent post made on Instagram, Smith revealed he got provisionally suspended by CrossFit and barred from the 2023 CrossFit Games after testing positive for two banned substances.
Jason Smith first made waves across the African circuit with his insane athletic abilities which secured him a spot in CrossFit’s biggest competition. He marked his maiden appearance at the CrossFit Games in 2017 and impressed with a top-ten finish overall. Smith qualified for the contest two more times but could not do enough to make the cut on each occasion.
Smith has proven to be one of the most disciplined athletes in the game. He became the highest-ranked athlete in the Men’s (35-39) category in 2019 and led the leaderboard again the next year. Then, he handily dispatched the competition at the 2021 Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal and finished runner-up the following year. He turned in a commanding performance at the 2023 Africa Semifinal, taking the win with 96 points more than runner-up Conrad Winnertz.
2023 CrossFit Games are set to take place Aug. 1-6 in Madison, Wisconsin. The most elite CrossFit athletes will battle it out for the most prestigious titles in the sport. Reigning two-time champion Justin Medeiros targets securing the third title. However, there are some noticeable names missing from the lineup. Jason Smith is a special case this year though, as he is the first athlete so far who qualified for the 2023 CrossFit Games, but will not compete due to a positive drug test.
Mal O’Brien announced her withdrawal from the 2023 CrossFit Semifinals and the entire season two months ago. Although she had been on top of the leaderboard for the majority of the season, she chose to skip the show due to personal challenges.
CrossFit veteran Noah Ohlsen announced his plans to move away from the Individual division to Team and revealed 2023 would mark his final season competing in the Individual category last October.
Earlier this year, Haley Adams pulled out of the upcoming Games to focus on her mental and physical health. She opened up about experiencing higher levels of anxiety and battling an eating disorder due to the pressure of getting higher placements. In addition, other athletes like Ricky Garard and Kara Saunders have also withdrawn from this year’s CrossFit Games
Jason Smith Issues Statement on 2023 CrossFit Games Provisional Suspension
In a recent Instagram post, Jason Smith revealed CrossFit suspended him and ruled him out of the 2023 CrossFit Games after he tested positive for two banned substances.
CrossFit announced early Friday morning that Smith “provided a sample at the competition that contained exogenous 5a-androstane-3a,17b-diol (5aAdiol) and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol (5bAdiol).
Smith will appeal the decision but remains provisionally suspended and barred from the upcoming games.
“Completely shattered. Speechless and have so many questions,” wrote Smith. “I have been living in a nightmare the past week after receiving a [sic] email from CrossFit to say I’ve failed a drug test almost 2 months after Semifinals, and will not be competing at the CrossFit Games. For anyone who knows me, knows how against using Performance Enhancers I am to gain any advantage in sport or CrossFit. I have competed in CrossFit for 14 years, I own 2 CrossFit gyms, and have only encouraged health and fitness through CrossFit training. There is no reason for me to do this, or current explanation of how this has happened. I am getting legal and medical advice and will be appealing the decision by CrossFit.
“This is not an apology nor am I seeking sympathy. I do however appreciate those who support me during this time as this is something I’ve never imagined to have happened or to deal with, but I will get to the bottom of this!”
Conrad Winnertz was offered to replace Smith but declined due to an injury. It is unclear who will replace Smith at the 2023 CrossFit Games at the time of this writing.
Brooke Wells was forced to the sidelines after not advancing further at the 2023 CrossFit North America East Semifinal two months ago. She later revealed she picked up a foot injury in the first event, which compromised her performance. However the last remaining details for the 2023 CrossFit Games are being fine tuned, as the Individual and Teams workouts for the 2023 CrossFit Games got announced days ago as well.