‘The safest meal is a vegan one’: PETA sends Shelby Houlihan pork-free gift basket

National / World

FILE – In this Sunday, July 28, 2019, file photo, Shelby Houlihan crosses the finish line as she wins the women’s 5,000-meter run at the U.S. Championships athletics meet, in Des Moines, Iowa. Houlihan, the American record holder in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters, posted on social media that she’s been banned for four years following a positive test for what she concluded was a tainted pork burrito. Houlihan said she received an email from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Jan. 14, 2021, notifying her that a drug testing sample returned a finding for the anabolic steroid nandrolone. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KCAU) – The animal rights organization PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is sending Sioux City-native Shelby Houlihan a pork-free gift basket after she received a four-year ban from competing in professional running, the group said.

In the statement Thursday, PETA said the gift basket includes vegan Herbivorous Butcher Cuban pork, jerky, pork rinds, chorizo, and al pastor.

“Steroids are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the toxins that might be lurking in a pork burrito,” PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said. “PETA hopes Shelby’s experience will serve as a wake-up call for everyone—the safest meal is a vegan one.”

Sioux City-native and Olympian Houlihan announced on June 14 on social media platforms that she was banned for four years from competing after saying she failed a drug test, testing positive for a steroid called Nandrolone.

After putting together a food journal around the time of the December 2020 drug test, Houlihan said that the most likely explanation for the positive test was a burrito with pig offal about 10 hours before the test. She said the meat can produce a false positive as pigs can produce high levels of nandrolone. She then informed the Athletics Integrity Unit. On June 11, 2021, they emailed her, saying they did not accept her explanation. She denies taking any performance-enhancing substances and will continue to fight to prove her innocence.

Just hours ago, USA Track and Field said she will be allowed to participate in Olympic preliminaries while any appeals she files are pending. Houlihan is on the start list for Friday’s 5,000 preliminaries.

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