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Doping in Triathlon | TRS Triathlon

SystemAdminSystemAdmin Administrator
edited June 2015 in Articles

imageDoping in Triathlon | TRS Triathlon

International triathlon coach addresses the issue of doping in triathlon.

Read the full story here


Naiitsabes
«1

Comments

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    Agreed, 100%. Joel rocks.
    AaronWebsteyTheoyournotunique
    I'm recording this.
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    Wow. Great article
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    Great read. Also great to see TRS becoming a go-to place for stakeholders in the sport to communicate.
    AaronWebsteyTimOLearykevinschummerGentlemanJerseyDaveTheotrsradio69DawnCScheck48yournotuniqueJames Lange
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    Great article. I believe that the age group doping issue is bigger than people think and my guess is the TUE is used and abused A LOT by middle aged male age groupers. It stuns me that no one shakes their head when a convicted doper returns to racing and wins their age group by nearly 45 minutes in a 70.3 event.
    NLG
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    BrandonMarshTXBrandonMarshTX Member, Pro Triathlete
    @Rob. If you are talking of age grouper doping, you're probably talking about anti aging type doping. There are NO TUEs for that. Or at least I do not think that there are.

    TUEs are supposed to be for medical needs of a prohibited substance. Here's the FAQ.

    http://www.usada.org/substances/tue/tue-faqs/

    Results management as Joel brings up is huge. I've asked that question before. The in-person reply that I received was essentially "Trust us, it would be very difficult to hide a positive test".

    The other part of it is that we always hear that doping is not in the "culture" of triathlon. I posted in another thread, and Joel posts it early in his article, that there have been plenty of instances where the "culture" of triathlon is dirty. This is before we had an actual testing program/pool for elite athletes.
    AaronWebsteyRobert RankinTheoBW_TriScheck48
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    edited June 2015
    @Rob, I actually don't think there are a lot of TUE's being used. I think frankly people are doping and/or will lawyer up if caught. So I think because of the lack of testing in our sport, a lot of people get the courage to cheat. Will that be fixed? No, I don't think it will. There can't/won't be an adequate system of testing to actually "scare" people into not doping. That would be far to expensive and a pain in the butt for the race organizer. As I've always said, IF a company/sport can get away with being relaxed with doping, it likely will. So far WTC's feet hasn't been put to the fire to actually clean up AG doping. We all know/assume/think it's a problem, but there is not enough incentive to actually merit a real change, YET. We can all hope that people do the right thing and race with a good moral compass, but right now, the rules of the race are too easy for people to cheat it.
  • Options
    Great read.

    @BrandonMarshTX , to your concern I too have been troubled by lack of transparency by WTC's "Results Management" for quite sometime, this came to a head when I asked a DCO at IMCdL a few years ago where the results of the test were sent and how those were managed. The DCO said "That's a great question but I do not know". Following up with USADA, WTC and WADA after that I learned that incomp testing for WTC is contracted out by WTC to a 3rd party, in the US this appears to always be USADA, that 3rd party simply acts as service provider of such and the signatory (WTC in this case) is tasked with the management of those results and any subsequent sanctions. I was told by WTC that if a sample tested positive it was immediately reported to WADA but it is not clear who is responsible for that reporting, the signatory (WTC) or the lab that did the testing - my understanding is that the lab is just that a lab and they report only back to the signatory, this is however unclear. To Joel's point, a private for profit business that is not beholden to any transparency presents a clear conflict of interest when it come to results management.

    WTC does not offer any testing or results detail of pros or age groupers in the way that USADA does for the testing they do directly that can be found here http://www.usada.org/testing/results/athlete-test-history/ There is a doping statistics listed under the Result management page but little in the way of any additional information. http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/organizations/anti-doping/results-management.aspx#axzz3cfoa05Zz

    @ Rob Huntley I feel TUE abuse among age groupers is no doubt as significant as you suggest - I don't have data but observations suggest such. Outside of a very few health situations/conditions if you are so unhealthy as to need a TUE to race then you probably shouldn't be racing to begin with, get healthy and then race - if you still want to race with a TUE you should not be included in results much less a chance at a Kona slot.


    Robert RankinTheoBW_TriJason Lentzke
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    McNabbMcNabb Member
    Great article. There will always be doping, it is just the way it is. It is tough to stay ahead of, a nearly impossible task. But, the one thing that is in the control of WTC and others, is allowing convicted dopers to hop into a triathlon. It is ridiculous, it is unfair, and easy to stop. Why nobody is doing anything about it is mind boggling.
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    Hey Brandon - what I mean by culture in triathlon is simply that doping practises are not the norm, like they have been in cycling and other sports, and therefore rationalised and accepted. Of course there are big problems, and we don't want to see it go that way.
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    Brooks - I'd like to see all TUEs be public - but they are only part of the issue - for example, for thyroid meds, no TUE is required.
    Granpa Chook
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    Thanks Joel for the great article! Really enjoyed the read.
    www.MaverickMultisport.com
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    Great stuff @joelfilliol!

    Like Joel said, I'd like to see all TUE's be public, as well as the number of missed OOC tests too. Not answering the front door when you're "hot" is simply too easy!

    Thyroid meds are a big problem because you don't need a TUE for them. Sure, there might be athletes that need them, but I also need EPO to become an elite performer, where's the line? And when we have whole training groups where every athlete has a thyroid deficiency and is asthmatic, that's a huge problem.
    AaronWebsteyWattGodHSeeley14BW_TriDawnCJames Langedrjocy
    Do you know who I am?
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    On the thyroid issue again, I recall reading this a couple years ago:

    http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/04/news/matt-chrabot-heads-to-auckland-with-new-confidence_73210

    "“Totally felt like I ran out of gas in the last 5K in San Diego,” said Chrabot, whose resume also includes victories at the 2008 and 2010 Pan American Championships. “I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, so I had some blood tests done and met with an endocrinologist down in Houston.”

    After the battery of tests, his doctor figured out Chrabot had some thyroid issues that were affecting his testosterone level. Chrabot’s body was not producing enough of it, which explained why he kept bonking.

    He was prescribed medication and was told to take it easy for a while. In six to nine months, his doctors told him, the issue should be cleared up."
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    JakeJake Member
    is it odd that there's a "Cenegenics" ad just to the right of this article?
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    JimmyArcherJimmyArcher Member, Pro Triathlete
    Well said TheActualPaulo. I have always found it incredibly odd, and suspicious, the massive number of elite triathletes who seem to need inhalers and/or are asthmatic. Honestly, at times its ridiculous. In a quick search on the CDC website 8% of Americans have asthma. Yet, I have been at races where 1/2-2/3 of the pros are hitting inhalers immediately prior to race start. Hell, not long ago it was not at all unusual to see athletes running with them in hand during the race. Inhalers aren't quite on the same level as Thyroid meds. But, its still obvious desperation to find an edge. In that light, what's happening away from the race venues.
    EmilyCocksJames Langedrjocy
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    RDMRDM Member
    Great article and discussion.

    JimmyArcher - 100% right - as an observer, overnight it seems that nearly 95% of pro triathletes are asthmatic. Amazing coincidence. There are some legit asthmatic athletes, but ask them how they feel. They noticed too. Thyroid meds seem to have been in the sport since at least 2010 when insanely thin became a reality at the big races.

    Locally, there is an age group guy who went from multiple "14 and change" Ironman race performances to 10:04 in one year. Now, maybe he did old school hard work to get there, but life experience tells me that "too good to be true" usually is.

    I recommend anything on the subject by Mark Zeigler from the San Diego Union Tribune (often on with Bob Babbit) as well as David Walsh.

    My training / racing friends boycott anyone associated with cycling doping. There are a lot of Grand Fondo events, clothing companies (sponsoring a "development" team) and other events run by convicted dopers. We need to stay away.
    TheoHSeeley14
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    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers
    edited June 2015
    I'm interested in the asthma puffer issue. I was getting really bad burning/fluid-y lungs for several days after intense workouts or races. It was especially bad on the indoor track or in the cold. I never noticed any gains during training/racing (which that doesn't mean there weren't any), but hitting the puffer before and afterwards helped a ton with the aftereffects. The doctor said this was "exercise-induced asthma", and I did have a TUE.

    Any opinions on this - is exercise-induced asthma a real thing? Or do you say sucks to my assmar? Was I just being a wuss? Be honest - I haven't cared about a race result in about 8 years and I'm a grown-up. I can take it.
    James Lange
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    MattMatt Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member
    I was a lifeguard/kids swim instructor for 7 years in HS/Uni and spent way too much time at indoor pools with poor ventilation. The constant chlorine ate away at my throat/esophogeal lining and I developed a post-nasal drip and asthma.

    The asthma only got really bad when exercising (>zone 5) in temperature extremes (both hot and cold) and I had coughing fits for days. The headaches from that are just awful. A pulmonologist prescribed me Ventolin (albuterol) for attacks and Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol) as a daily inhaler. Used for 2-3 years until I stopped getting attacks (2011?). Those meds simply prevented my lungs from constant spams.

    Sucks to your assmar anyway, Piggy.

    AaronWebsteyTheoHSeeley14yournotuniqueKenElPescadoPelado
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    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers
    OK, so it is a real thing. Just sounds like I had a far milder case than you did.
    drjocy
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    It's funny how my parking spot for bike check in at IMTX was right in front of a huge "GET TESTOSTERONE THERAPY HERE" clinic's sign. Culture's push for drugs to "fix" normal aging is hard to avoid.

    I went in only for a few minutes. I swear. And then tried to have sex with everything that couldn't run away for two weeks.
    AaronWebsteyMattTheoTimOLearyHSeeley14Jason LentzkeScheck48yournotuniquejoelfilliolRyan HeislerGentlemanJerseyDavedrjocymmyetteKenElPescadoPelado
    I'm recording this.
  • Options
    The article is spot on! ITU should adopt MPCC stance on TUE, athletes should not be able to race if they need a TUE until a limit time before the race.
    Joel, is point 5 of your article a way of casting doubt over a certain former ITU WTS World Champion/current tri superstar?
    What is your take on suplements? Another grey area? Also, as ITU athletes are always travelling for competitions and training camps all over the world, are they tested enough from your experience?
    Cheers
    Naiitsabes
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    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers

    And then tried to have sex with everything that couldn't run away for two weeks.

    I thought things were getting a little too cozy on that couch ...
    Scheck48KenElPescadoPelado
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    I am an AG triathlete and family practice doc. What I learned in the past week-- 1. The biological passport is unreliable. 2. It is easy to microdose both EPO and Testosterone and not get caught. 3. I finally know now why runners are so damn skinny (can u spell cytomel?) 4. The only usual way to catch dopers is the random disgruntled team mate who took 3rd place.
    TheoKLassmanScheck48drjocyNLG
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    trsradio69trsradio69 Member, Rooster Endurance Officers
    edited June 2015
    Jake said:

    is it odd that there's a "Cenegenics" ad just to the right of this article?



    That is odd. Since google bases their ads on previous searches that you typed into a browser, I'd have to say you are now highly suspicious. (j/k I'll block them from displaying ads here)

    JakeAaronWebsteyRyan HeislerJames LangeKenElPescadoPelado
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    Just wanted to add that I think that the inhaler question is more indicative of a certain culture than of actual doping. This question has nothing to do with the fact that one has asthma or not.

    Let's say that athletes are twice as likely to have asthma as non-athletes. That means that it's still only 16% of the population. When you have entire training groups on these medications, it's clear that these athletes/coaches/doctors are working on the grey zone and that needs to stop.

    I personally think that there's a reason why Salbutamol is not a banned substance: it's not performance-enhancing.
    AaronWebsteyScheck48TheoJames LangeGranpa Chook
    Do you know who I am?
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    BrandonMarshTXBrandonMarshTX Member, Pro Triathlete
    I really need to change my handle to 'GrumpyMarsh'. A couple of forums. A couple of various posts about anti-/doping. This clears is all up right? From earlier today:

    "I AM True ‏@IMAntiDoping 1h1 hour ago All @IMAntiDoping Program tests reported directly, simultaneously, transparently by Laboratories 2 WADA’s ADAMS database #100%accountability"

    @DW. So much I'd like to write, but I'd start rambling. I've had some of those same conversations, and I've left with similar feelings. Conversations with DCOs as well as a lot of emails back and forth with various people. Some has been posted on ST. 1 or 2 tried to address the apparent conflict of interest with for-profit being tied to results management.

    Anyway from where I sit USADA has a pretty good 'results management' platform. Everything else leaves a bit to be desired. I'm not familiar enough with other countries to know what they do or how open they are.

    Ryan Heisler
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    stevefleckstevefleck Member
    edited June 2015
    Thanks, Joel. Well said.

    We would be extraordinarily naive to think that triathlon has not be impacted by the use of PED's. As you had said, what has most likely not saved it completely, but at least helped is, the lack of culture and acceptance. However, as the sport has grown and the money and the stakes have risen . . . well just put two and two together!

    For the longest time, particularly in the Ironman races, there was little to no testing at all! In many countries, those NOT in the pool of athletes training for ITU/Olympics, were outside ANY testing process. In fact, you could train and race your whole career. Win and place in Ironman races around the world, winning money from prize purses, do the same at Ironman Hawaii, and NEVER be tested! Ever! It was this way for a long time - right up until a few years ago when WTC started their own testing process! I like to think the best of people, and we did have that culture-vibe-thing going for us, but guess what . . . . if you leave the barn door open wide enough, for long enough . . . . something is going to pass through it!

    Of course, all of the above is somewhat moot, because we now know that clean tests, don't also mean, a clean sport! :(

  • Options
    You tired from too much training? Must be the thyroid.(at least according to this Doc- who comes highly recommended by Alberto Salazar)
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323550604578412913149043072





    James Lange
    WTC Free since 2010


  • Options
    Will you find doping in all sports? Yes. Will you find ore doping in some countries? Yes.
    It is quite easy to know what is going on, you just have to talk to the athletes and coaches.
    But national organisations have to take a stand. A good example on the wrong thing to do is USA Track and Field. Not only does the organisation hire dopers as national coaches, it also promotes doped athletes.

    It will be interesting when people start talking about triathlon and what has happen.
  • Options
    Great article. It should make the "TRS End of Year Clip n Save" file to share with patrons, sponsors, advertisers etc. to demonstrate good content, high level of engagement and being ahead of the curve. This conversation will continue across forums and it is only a matter of when, not if, the community has to look in the mirror to see a major figure caught with his or her hand in the pharma-jar.

    Serious question -- What steps should a club team take to insure that there is no tolerance for a gray zone mentality and that doping is verboten? A rigorous testing protocol is not realistic for amateurs.

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