NEW YORK (Reuters) - Olympic bobsleigh medalist Randal Jones has been given a two-year ban for refusing an out-of-competition doping test.
Jones, who won silver with the United States' four-man team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games and another at the 2003 world championships, refused an United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) test on January 26 citing his retirement from competition.
But the 40-year-old had failed to file proper paperwork to inform USADA of his retirement decision, the sledder said in a statement released by USADA on Monday.
"I regret that my failure to understand the rules led me to refuse to provide a sample when requested because I thought I could state that I was retired and provide retirement paperwork later," he said.
"I now understand that it is every athlete's responsibility to provide a sample when requested to do so unless that athlete has previously retired and completed the required retirement paperwork."
A four-time Olympian, Jones came out of retirement in a bid to earn a spot on the U.S. squad for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games but quit because of injuries.
The U.S. bobsled federation said Jones had made a foolish decision and that "rules are rules."
"When an athlete knows he's done, the hoops you have to jump through just don't seem as important as when you're competing," Darrin Steele, chief executive of the U.S. bobsled federation, told Reuters. "He knew he screwed up, he's been around a long time and knows how it works."
(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; editing by Frank Pingue/Ian Ransom)