LaShawn Merritt, the Olympic runner who took home gold at the Beijing Olympics, has been suspended after testing positive for a banned substance found in penis enlargement pills.
Officials say the runner took ExtenZe, the “natural male enhancement pills”, that promise to increase a man’s penis size and width.
According to a release from the runner’s lawyer, the pills caused him to fail three consecutive tests from October 2009 to January 2010.
The substance in question is dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA, a type of steroids precursor found in the pills.
23-year-old Merritt says he hopes sponsors, family, friends and fans can forgive him for making a “foolish, immature and egotistical mistake.”
He also adds “Any penalty that I may receive for my action will not overshadow the embarrassment and humiliation that I feel inside.”
The CEO of United States Track & Field, the governing body of the sport, has since spoken out against Merritt saying he is “disgusted by this entire episode.”
“He has now put his entire career under a cloud and in the process made himself the object of jokes. In this day and age, a professional athlete should know better.”