WAKEFIELD (CBS) – An American Olympian has been thrown out of the games for doping.
Judoka star Nicholas Delpopolo became the first Olympian expelled from the games for doping and the news was taken hard at Pedro’s Judo in Wakefield.
“It was definitely a little embarrassing because you’d like to think an Olympian will live up to all of the Olympic ideals,” said Riley McIlwain who used to train with Delpopolo.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
The club in Wakefield is where judo guru Jimmy Pedro trained Marblehead ‘s Kayla Harrison, who just won the Olympic gold.
It is also where Delpopolo once trained, until a couple of years ago when he moved to another club in New York state .
McIlwain worries the blunder might overshadow some great moments for American judo.
“I really think that we’ll be able to overcome this and just see it as a kink in the metal, but just a very small one,” sad McIlwain.
Delpopolo is the first athlete to fail a doping test during the London games.
Performance enhancing drugs bounced four others prior to the Olympics.
Delpopolo says he inadvertently ate food with marijuana baked into it.
He apologized in a statement by saying, “I am embarrassed by this mistake,” but he goes on to say “I am looking forward to representing my country in the future.”
His explanation has not satisfied many.
“Who am I to say if he’s lying or not, I’m sure it was a mistake,” said McIlwain.
Besides deflecting attention from Kayla Harrison’s impressive gold, Delpopolo’s positive drug test also casts a shadow on his own amazing story.
He spent the first two years of his life in a Montenegro orphanage with dirt floors only to be adopted by a New Jersey couple. He then took up judo at age six and worked his way onto the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
“Even if it wasn’t someone I knew, it’s still a tough hit for that team and that national governing body, its tough to bear,” said McIlwain.