By Tom Degun

matthew_brown_19-07-11July 19 - American Paralympic track and field athlete Matthew Brown has been suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after he tested positive for smoking the recreational drug marijuana.

The 35-year-old from Idalou in Texas, who lost his leg in a natural gas explosion back in 2005, competes in both the discus and shot put for the United States Paralympic team but received a three month ban, which dates back to July 12, after the drug offence.

The US Anti-Doping Agency reduced the length of the ban after Brown completed their specialist programme.

The organisation also admitted that in cases involving marijuana such as Brown's, there could be a "credible non-doping explanation".

The ruling means that Brown has lost all of his results from the 2011 US Paralympic Track and Field Championships last month, although he will still be eligible to compete in the London 2012 Paralympic Games next year.

Brown made his international debut in Paralympic sport at the 2007 Parapan American Games where he won a gold medal in discus and a bronze in the shot put.

A year later, he travelled to Beijing for the 2008 Paralympic Games in the Chinese capital where he just missed out on a podium place by finishing fourth in the discus F42 event.

Brown had stayed in the hospital for a month after his accident in 2005 and required 13 units of blood transfusions following the gas explosion that took his leg.

However, he was able walk just four months after the amputation and started taking in part in Paralympic sport after six months.

Before the accident, Brown was an all-state star in discus and shot put at Idalou High School, where he also played football, basketball and baseball.

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