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Press Release

Anti-Doping Charges Filed Against Two Defendants In Manhattan Federal Court

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Dewayne Barrett and O’Neil Wright Allegedly Distributed Performance Enhancing Drugs in an Effort to Corrupt the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging DEWAYNE BARRETT and O’NEIL WRIGHT under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act (“RADA”), which proscribes doping schemes at international sports competitions including the Olympic Games.  The Indictment alleges that BARRETT and WRIGHT obtained various performance enhancing drugs (“PEDs”) and distributed those PEDs to certain athletes in advance of, and for the purpose of cheating at, the 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo in the summer of 2021.  In addition to the charge under the Rodchenkov Act, BARRETT and WRIGHT are alleged to have conspired to violate the drug misbranding and adulteration laws of the U.S., and BARRETT is separately charged for his involvement in a scheme to fraudulently obtain loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

BARRETT was taken into federal custody last Thursday and presented in federal court in Manhattan before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang.  WRIGHT was taken into federal custody last Wednesday and was presented on Thursday in the Northern District of Georgia before U.S. Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand.  

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Barret and Wright’s supposed ‘coaching’ services included providing Olympic-level athletes with prohibited, performance-enhancing drugs.  Supplying illegal drugs to athletes is dangerous and illegal.  This Office is committed to rooting out corruption in international sporting events.  We will continue to prosecute those who engage in illicit doping schemes to the full extent of the law under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “Performance enhancing substances deprive competitors of a level playing field.  At a moment when the games offered thousands of athletes validation after years of training, Dewayne Barrett and O’Neil Wright allegedly schemed to ruin that moment by peddling illegal drugs.  Let me be clear, the FBI and our law enforcement partners will not yield in our efforts to disrupt criminal enterprises that seek to corrupt international competition.”

As alleged in the Indictment:[1]

The charges in this Indictment arise from an investigation of a scheme to provide Olympic athletes with PEDs, including drugs widely banned throughout competitive sports such as human growth hormone, clenbuterol, and the “blood building” drug erythropoietin, in advance of and for the purpose of corrupting the 2020 Olympic Games that convened in Tokyo in the summer of 2021.

BARRETT and WRIGHT purported to coach athletes, including Olympic-level athletes competing on behalf of Nigeria (“Athlete-1”), Switzerland (“Athlete-2”), and the United Kingdom (“Athlete-3”), but instead, in order to obtain an unfair and unlawful advantage, BARRETT and WRIGHT provided those athletes with prohibited, performance-enhancing drugs that were obtained and administered without valid prescriptions.

BARRETT was a track and field coach and personal trainer based in the New York City area who operated a fitness facility located in Manhattan.  WRIGHT, a former Olympic-level sprinter, was a track and field coach based in Atlanta, Georgia.  Neither BARRETT nor WRIGHT are doctors.  CC-1, an individual who held himself out as a naturopathic doctor, but was not a licensed doctor, supplied banned drugs to athletes at BARRETT and WRIGHT’s behest.

The Rodchenkov Act, which was signed into law in December 2020, prohibits any person, other than an athlete, to knowingly carry into effect, attempt to carry into effect, or conspire with any other person to carry into effect a scheme in commerce to influence by use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method any major international sports competition. 21 U.S.C. § 2402.

BARRETT is also charged with his involvement in a scheme to fraudulently obtain loans through PPP.  As alleged in the Indictment, between 2020 and 2021, BARRETT submitted online applications seeking over $2.5 million on behalf of individuals whom he represented to be independent contractors on the loan applications.  BARRETT provided a falsified Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 in support of each application, showing an inaccurate annual income for the applicant in the prior tax year.  In many cases, BARRETT was directly paid by the applicant for having submitted the fraudulent paperwork.

*                *                *

DEWAYNE BARRETT, 41, of Elmont, New York, and O’NEIL WRIGHT, 43, of Snellville, Georgia, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Rodchenkov Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, and one count of conspiracy to violate the misbranding laws, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.  BARRETT is further charged with one count of wire fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. 

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the FBI’s Integrity in Sports and Gaming Initiative.  Mr. Williams also thanked the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the New York City Police Department, and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for their assistance in the investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Mortazavi, Benjamin Gianforti and T. Josiah Pertz are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated December 18, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-436