According to the wrestling website TheMat.com, New Ulm's Ali Bernard has been named by USA Wrestling as its nominee to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team in women's freestyle wrestling at 72 kg/158.5 lbs after original champion Stephany Lee was given a one-year ban.
Lee, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion at 72 kg, has accepted a one-year suspension from the U.S. Anti Doping Agency, based upon a positive test at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling in Iowa City, Iowa on April 21. According to the website, Lee tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol acid, a marijuana metabolite in the class of Cannabinoids. She was also suspended in 2009 for another positive drug test.
Bernard placed second at April's U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 72 kg, losing to Lee in the best-of-three Championship Series. Based upon the USADA ruling, Lee forfeits the results from the event and Bernard becomes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion.
Bernard, who is 26 years old, placed fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She was third in the 2011 World Championships and also competed in the 2009 World Championships.
She was a two-time Junior World champion (2003 and 2005) and won a 2012 University World Championships gold medal.
A 2004 graduate of New Ulm High School, Bernard attended college in Canada, winning five CIS Canadian national titles competing for the University of Regina and the University of Alberta.
Bernard originally entered April's U.S. Olympic Team Trials as the favorite to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team at 72 kg on the heels of winning the bronze medal in her weight class in the 2011 World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Bernard could not be reached on Thursday for comments.
U.S. Olympic Team nominees are subject to USOC Board approval.
The 72 kg/158.5 lbs. weight class in women's wrestling at the Olympics will be contested on Thursday, August 9 at the ExCel Center in London, England.