Australian athlete Ricky Garard is arguably the most controversial case in recent CrossFit history.
Garard tested positive in 2017 after making the podium (3rd place) at the CrossFit Games.
Age: 29 (May 12, 1994)
Height: 1'79 m / 5'10¨
Place of birth: New South Wales, Australia
Weight: 93 kg / 205 lb
Affiliate: Fitness Alley CrossFit
Trainer: Justin Cotler
"Any mistake you make in life is not final. You can always turn it around." - Ricky Garard
End of season 2023
Shortly after the Quarterfinals, and just over a month before the on-site Semifinals, Ricky suffers a fall on his bike and undergoes shoulder surgery. Unfortunately, he misses the rest of the 2023 season.
He won the individual competition with 689 total points, followed by Roman Khrennikov The two played a duel throughout the competition that was finally won by the Australian.
The Australian took the $75,000 first prize.
Dubai Fitness Championship
He decides not to participate in the Dubai to be ready for Wodapalooza.
3 bad results made him finish in 10th place.
CrossFit Games 2022
Five years after his first participation, Garard returned to compete in the CrossFit Games.
Held the leader's jersey for 9 events and came close to winning the competition. He won event 1 of bike and The Capitol. In addition, he finished 6 events in the top 5. However, some mistakes dropped him to 3rd place on the podium.
He repeated the same place as in 2017 when he was penalized for failing doping controls.
Return to on-site competitions
After serving his 4-year punishment out of official CrossFit competitions, he participates for the first time in a live CrossFit event, the Torian Pro Oceania Semifinal.
In the first race, he went all out and we saw him fall exhausted as he crossed the finish line.
He had to be attended to by the medical team but was able to return to the competition 13 minutes before the start of Event 2.
He finished 2nd in the competition and received his pass to the CrossFit Games 2022.
His coach, Justin Cotler
Justin Cotler of UnderDogs athletics told the Coffee, pods & wods podcast that Ricky Garard was the athlete he would like to coach. From that point on, Justin and Ricky began conversations to see how they could work together.
Ricky confesses that Cotler has helped him regain the confidence to be among the best athletes in the world.
Negative anti-doping test
During the season, a number of athletes undergo a anti-doping testincluding Ricky Garard, and is negative.
His penalty ended in October 2021 and he received a controversial invitation to participate directly without qualifiers in the Dubai Fitness Championship.
He finished in 3rd place, which gave him great confidence for his return to official competition.
4 years sanction
Shortly after receiving his suspension, he thought it was a sign to resume his professional rugby career. He moved to Yeppoon, Queensland to sign for a team and try to fulfill his dream of playing in the NRL, the national rugby league.
After 2 matches, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority notified the club that Ricky would not be able to play until he served his CrossFit sanction.
With no sponsors and financial difficulties, he worked as a coach at F45 Training Yeppoon until he decided to return home to his parents.
He tried to stay motivated and committed to keep training, with the intention of coming back and being able to become the winner of the CrossFit Games. However, he also confesses that it was a very hard time and he even thought about quitting everything.
3rd in CrossFit Games 217
At the age of 22, he participates for the first time in the CrossFit Games, after qualifying 2nd in the Oceania region.
He was awarded the Rookie of the Year award (given to the best-performing first-time athletes), and finished in 3rd place, making it onto the podium.
After returning to Australia, Ricky was informed that he had failed his anti-doping test during the Games. All his achievements were withdrawn and he was sentenced to 4 years without being able to participate in official competition.
Garard acknowledges that it was his fault and took full responsibility for what happened.
Nevertheless, he faced those years in the best possible way and assures that his potential could make him the Fittest on earth with or without taking those substances.
What did Ricky Garard take?
Ricky Garard tested positive for SARMS, specifically Testolone and Endurobol.
Testolone (RAD-140) promotes increased muscle mass and/or bone density.
Endurobol burns excess fat tissue, improves recovery and dramatically increases endurance.
Garard acknowledges that he had no idea that what he was taking could be grounds for a penalty. He claims that he was unaware that a supplement he bought at his local store would cause him to lose his third place in the Games.
I would visit the supplement store and ask the guy what he could take to improve his strength, recovery, and he would just take it.
However, the salesman contacted him and told him that he was not sure if he might have a problem and that it would be better to stop taking it 10 days before the competition.
Ricky thought everything would be fine, that after all he had bought something off a shelf in the store and wasn't injecting anything into his vein.
2 points behind at Regionals prevented him from qualifying for the CrossFit Games.
Received a no-rep on a rope climb at the last wod which dropped him from 4th to 6th place, leaving him out of the race.
|Movement / WOD
|Clean & Jerk
|Max Pull-ups / min
Positive for Ben Garard
Interestingly his brother tested positive a few years after Ricky's scandal. He was also banned for 4 years and has not returned to competition.
History before CrossFit
Ricky Garard is the youngest of 4 siblings. He lived on a farm with 2 hectares of land, cows, horses and lots of fields.
As a child, he liked to practice many activities and whenever he had the opportunity, he skipped classes to have fun playing sports.
His first modality was soccer at the age of 5, although he only practiced it for 1 year. From 5 to 7 he switched to field hockey.
When he turned 16, he joined a gym to improve his physical condition to compete in Rugby, a sport he had been playing since he was 8 years old.
At the age of 18 he got to know CrossFit and participated for the first time in the 2012 Open. From that moment on, he got hooked on this discipline after seeing that his strength, speed and power improved a lot when he transferred it to Rugby.
The time came when he began to enjoy CrossFit more than Rugby, also, his brother Ben Garard participated, in 2015, in the CrossFit Games. Ricky traveled to the United States to see Ben's participation and it was at that moment when he discovered that he wanted to participate in the biggest event of this sport.
One of his passions is riding a bicycle. He explains that he always went to school by bike and for this reason he is always good at events with this element.