Ricky Garard Returns, Receives Invite to Dubai CrossFit Championship

Written by Justin LoFranco

The organizers of the Dubai CrossFit Championship have extended an invitation to Ricky Garard to compete in their invite-only elite event in December. Garard has accepted the invitation and this will be the first CrossFit competition Garard has competed in since his ban from the sport in 2017. 

Remind me: Ricky Garard is a controversial figure in the sport of CrossFit after testing positive for testolone and endurobol, both banned substances, at the 2017 CrossFit Games where he finished third. He was slapped with a four-year ban from the sport, meaning he could not compete in any CrossFit sanctioned event until after October 3, 2021. 

  • Garard has not been shy about his intention to return, often posting videos and scores completing Open, Sanctional, Semifinal or Games events during mock trials. 
  • In 2020, Garard called out Mathew Fraser asking him not to retire: “You wait for me **** I’m coming” @mathewfras In more polite words when I’m not so fired up, please don’t retire, I want to compete against the best again.”
  • Garard posted his unofficial 2020 CrossFit Games stage 1 results, where all athletes competed online from their home gyms, stating his scores would have placed him fifth. 

One big thing: Garard will be the first major individual athlete to return to competition after serving a drug-related suspension and his return is already raising some eyebrows for two reasons: It’s unclear how frequently he was tested over the last four years and some feeling that he doesn’t deserve an immediate invite to one of the most prestigious off-season events in CrossFit. 

  • Garard has, in fact, been tested at least once over the past four years. CrossFit announced in March, that he was tested and his results came back negative. 

Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect that Garard has accepted his invite.

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