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ASU national champion wrestler Zahid Valencia suspended after failed drug test

Valencia was 20-0 (17-0 Pac-12) before receiving the suspension

Zahid Valencia

Then ASU redshirt sophomore wrestler Zahid Valencia walks around the mat before his championship match of the Pac-12 Championship Conference at the Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon, on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Zahid Valencia won first place in his weight class. 

Two-time NCAA champion wrestler Zahid Valencia has been suspended indefinitely by the ASU athletic department for having failed a drug test in January, according to a University spokesperson.

“Zahid Valencia has been suspended indefinitely from the ASU men’s wrestling team," ASU athletics said in a statement, a team official confirmed to State Press on Thursday. "Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the University will not be releasing additional information at this time.”

According to azcentral, Valencia reportedly failed the test on Jan. 18 in Italy after testing positive for a "recreational drug, not a performance-enhancing drug."

Valencia, who is 20-0 since the start of the 2019-2020 season, was ranked as the No. 1 overall wrestler in the nation for the 184-pound weight class by Trackwrestling, WIN Magazine, FloWrestling and TheOpenMat in preseason polls.

The redshirt senior finished last season with a 31-2 record, a Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year award and advanced to the national championship against Mark Hall out of then-ranked No. 1 Penn State.

In the meantime, ASU wrestling will have to continue the rest of the season without its top competitor.

"It's hard to say what's going to happen with the lineup moving forward," ASU head coach Zeke Jones said in a statement. "Our goals remain the same, we want to kick some butt. This is still a really exciting group of guys. That's why I'm keeping my chin up."

ASU (14-1, 5-0 Pac-12) is on a nine-match win streak and travels to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania on Friday, Feb. 21.

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