American judo fighter Nick Delpopolo, who was expelled Monday from the Olympics following a positive drug test, says the marijuana-laced brownie he ingested was baked by a family member.
“After making frantic phone calls to friends and family following the results, a family member confessed that the brownies she had baked (and that I had eaten a few weeks prior) contained marijuana. I had no idea that I had ingested marijuana until that moment. I slept the entire four-hour drive home the day I ate the brownie, but thought that I was just extremely tired from training and travel. My family member sent a confession letter to the Olympic Committee immediately following the call,” the 23-year-old said in a statement.
The name of the family member has not been released.
The letter reportedly sent to the committee by the female relative expressed remorse.
“He had absolutely no idea that I dealt with marijuana at all, so it never would’ve crossed his mind. This is my entire fault. …This was all a huge mistake. His hard work, and not only dedication to judo, but also being a good role model, should not be down graded or punished for my selfishness and stupidity. I wish I could have thought of this possibility, but I couldn’t have imagined this ever happening,” the unnamed family member wrote, according to an email message sent to The Daily Gazette by Melissa Ingram, Delpopolo’s publicist.
Delpopolo, who lives in Amsterdam, returned Monday night to the United States.
A member of the Jason Morris Judo Center in Glenville, he trained for the 2012 games under four-time Olympian and 1992 silver medalist Jason Morris.
Delpopolo placed seventh July 30 in the 73-kilogram class at the London Olympics and tested positive for metabolites of cannabis that same day, after competing, according to the International Olympic Committee. The IOC has stripped him of his accreditation and disqualified him from the 73kg class.
According to Delpopolo’s website, he was born Petra Perovic in the republic of Montenegro, in the former Yugoslavia. He was adopted by a family from New Jersey before his second birthday and first moved to the Capital Region to train with Morris when he was 12.
After training in Glenville for nearly two years, he returned to New Jersey, then came back at age 17 to again train at JMJC.