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Doping? - Age Groupers
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Looking for advice/input/opinions

I'm the president of a Tri Club that has been around 13 or so years. We are in a US metro area, with 400+ members. Never had to deal with doping issues so this is new ground for me and our board.

Well liked, highly visible club member, 40+, recently admitted, before a group of club members, to being diagnosed with Low Testosterone by his doctor. They choose to move forward with implanted testosterone pellets to deliver a "steady, low dose of testosterone to an individual for up to 6 months at a time." The club member is a middle of the pack athlete at full or half distance, but could get on the podium at local races (sprint/oly). They have not been on the podium, that I am aware of, since this treatment began.

I understand that under WADA rules, this treatment would disqualify the athlete and lead to a likely 2 year suspension. It has been voiced to me, by other club members, that this individual needs to sideline himself for 2 years because of the treatment. Or, walk away from any podium position in the future, not enter a race that has a lottery entry (London/Chicago/Tokyo marathon), walk away from any rolldown or qualifying spots, etc...

Wondering about opinions on the issue, if any other clubs have had to deal with similar situations and what had been done, or if any individuals have been in a similar situation and what you have done. The info is out there because the member opened his mouth, so with that knowledge I don't feel that we can just turn a blind eye even if it is a medical issue.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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He can't race.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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triclubpres wrote:
Looking for advice/input/opinions

I'm the president of a Tri Club that has been around 13 or so years. We are in a US metro area, with 400+ members. Never had to deal with doping issues so this is new ground for me and our board.

Well liked, highly visible club member, 40+, recently admitted, before a group of club members, to being diagnosed with Low Testosterone by his doctor. They choose to move forward with implanted testosterone pellets to deliver a "steady, low dose of testosterone to an individual for up to 6 months at a time." The club member is a middle of the pack athlete at full or half distance, but could get on the podium at local races (sprint/oly). They have not been on the podium, that I am aware of, since this treatment began.

I understand that under WADA rules, this treatment would disqualify the athlete and lead to a likely 2 year suspension. It has been voiced to me, by other club members, that this individual needs to sideline himself for 2 years because of the treatment. Or, walk away from any podium position in the future, not enter a race that has a lottery entry (London/Chicago/Tokyo marathon), walk away from any rolldown or qualifying spots, etc...

Wondering about opinions on the issue, if any other clubs have had to deal with similar situations and what had been done, or if any individuals have been in a similar situation and what you have done. The info is out there because the member opened his mouth, so with that knowledge I don't feel that we can just turn a blind eye even if it is a medical issue.

Thanks in advance.


Does T fall under a TUE?
Not the same but I was on pred LT for a significant lung condition (not 'asthama! ) and a TUE would have been valid for any competition. I'm not front of pack or even KQ but if I had it would have been a legitimate result under the rules.

(I am not condoning this, widespread prescribing of testosterone for middle aged males hasn't reached the UK yet and makes me scratch my head - I am just suggesting checking the 'system' first)

If it is not allowed then he shouldn't be allowed to race under club colours. You can't stop him entering solo, and then it is up to you/whoever if they want to draw attention to his misdemeanour with the appropriate body.
Last edited by: tuckandgo: Nov 5, 18 8:36
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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Virtually impossible to get a tue for t. And that’s being lenient.

Bottom line, he can’t race.

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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
Virtually impossible to get a tue for t. And that’s being lenient.

Bottom line, he can’t race.

Agreed (as per my edit.)

I'm blown away all these people race with T if it isn't allowed with a TUE.
Often it seems to be a TUE screw up, but if that's not the case then what the hell are all these people doing.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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The thing about the TUE process is that it’s complicated. Just emailing or telling on an application to wada saying your doc “recommends” this doesn’t mean anything. So I think most people simply don’t want to go through the proper paperwork to apply.

I had an athlete that had lung cancer and I kinda laughed that for her to race “legally” she had to do an TUE. And this is for some random non podium athlete that just wanted to “race” like a normal person. Of course she wasn’t going to get tested, but that’s why I laugh- only because she’ll never get tested was everyone saying “just tell her to race”.

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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
Virtually impossible to get a tue for t. And that’s being lenient.

Bottom line, he can’t race.

That used to be my understanding as well (which I generally agree with) but then someone pointed me to the "new" recreational athlete TUE category.

Anyone know if that has made it easier?
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
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B_Doughtie wrote:
The thing about the TUE process is that it’s complicated. Just emailing or telling on an application to wada saying your doc “recommends” this doesn’t mean anything. So I think most people simply don’t want to go through the proper paperwork to apply.

I had an athlete that had lung cancer and I kinda laughed that for her to race “legally” she had to do an TUE. And this is for some random non podium athlete that just wanted to “race” like a normal person. Of course she wasn’t going to get tested, but that’s why I laugh- only because she’ll never get tested was everyone saying “just tell her to race”.

Yeah, I had a fungal tumour in my lung. I was relieved to find out that legitimately I only had to apply for a TUE retrospectively, if I got tested. There was no question as to whether I would get one or not, but I was surprised to find out that I only had to do it if I was picked out for testing.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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My opinion, for what it's worth (not much) . . . Since the guy spoke up, he's sunk. DQ unless and until he stops using. But on the other hand . . . that's too bad because it has been speculated that MOST Masters age group athletes are using something for which they could be banned. No TUEs. No excuses. But they keep their mouths shut and (for the most part) they only enter races where they don't expect to be tested. They compete without anyone being the wiser.

I suspect that the vast majority of age group "dopers" are no-ill-intent, "harmless" dopers. They are taking prescription medications that bring them soundly within the "normal" range for someone who is healthy and not doping. Nothing that makes them into a "Superman." Just enough to allow them to compete within the "normal" range for their age and gender. Still, the rules are the rules. And the rules put them in the same category as the "to the gills" doper who wants to regain his or her performance from when they were 15 years younger. Until he gets a TUE, your guy should be out.
Last edited by: FlashBazbo: Nov 5, 18 8:57
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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You might want to consider how you approach these issues as a club. Your club's by-laws should address how club officers address members who do not comply with the club's by-laws.

Racers will do what racers decide. The by-laws should define who gets accepted as members and how they remain in good standing as members or not.

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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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We had a similar problem in our club. A member was banned, 1 years, in cycling because she tested positive for T. I quietly brought it up but the Pres/Vice Pres wanted to turn a blind eye. I asked them to at least reach out to the USAT regional president for advice. I recommend you do the same. The take away was her suspension by this time was ending soon so nobody said or did anything. I wanted her removed from the club because I thought it shined a negative light on us. Your situation is a little different though. We wrote up an Anti-Doping statement and posted it for all members.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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A year ago I ran across a situation with potential testosterone issues with an athlete.

I think you should call USADA and get their opinion and use as much information that you or your club officers got from the athlete. WITHOUT using the athlete's name, you could potentially learn a lot from USADA about how this could be a legitimate TUE and why. I thought for sure my athlete would not be able to compete if he went with his doctor's regime. The USADA folks explained the legitimacy to me better than even his doctor. You could even then encourage the athlete to reach our to USADA comfortably and keep his integrity on an official scale.

In the end, the athlete I know was able to avoid needing the drugs. I was just super pumped by the ease of discussion I had over the phone with the folks at USADA.

I would urge anyone with questions to not just think of USADA as a regulatory agency, but also as a resource. Having heard some of them give presentations and talked on the phone, I was stoked on their levels of professionalism. As a long time coach who has been working within the elite pipeline these things have been explained better to me.

I make this post in hopes that others can educate themselves and not immediately reach for pitchforks.

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billy
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Naval Academy Triathlon Coach (USNA '00 and USMC)
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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Couple thoughts:

How will it make the club look if he gets popped for doping as a member of the club? Since the cat is already out of the bag, I would think that there is a much higher chance of him being "randomly" selected for testing by USAT due to a tip from a club member..

You need to think of the effect it would have on the other 400 members and the club's reputation, especially now that it is known.

Quietly, respectfully of any medical condition, ask him to seek a TUE and if he can't get one, ask that he not compete under the club's colors.

If he gets a TUE, it's all legal, and the club is covered, regardless of if people complain.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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couple of thoughts:

How many on the club have talked smack about cyclists/triathletes doing drugs and are now not saying anything about this person. Pretty hypocritical.

Who says his T is actually low. Sure it may be low compared to what is considered normal. I have a friend who just did his physical, T was 230. Dude just touches a weight he gains 5 pounds of muscle and gets shredded. Still going top 10 in the masters division in mtn bike racing. For him he has always tested out in the 220-250 range. Sure it's low but for him low is probably normal & he functions fine.

If he went to a men's clinic the doc would put him on T immediately. That's just putting a cancer patch on him. Low T needs to be put into a historical context for that person before getting a prescription. One test doesn't really tell the whole T story.

You might want to use your next newsletter/email blast/meeting any/all of the above to do a primer on anti-doping in regards to lifestyle meds such as T & HGH. Remind everyone that these are banned substances. If the person is always around 2:45 for an Oly but after meds they are always around 2:38 does it impact the front of the race? No. They did just cheat 7 minutes worth of people out of their rightful finishing position and that's crap.

IMO doing nothing as a BOD is not an option. If the BOD does nothing then you condone doping and therefore cheating. As a BOD are you any less ethical than this person at this point. As a member of a BOD, IMO, you've accepted a position within the the sport that is a step up from just an athlete when it comes to fair sport, when it comes to anti doping, when it comes to education of your members of the rules etc. As a coach I have an extra responsibility to my athletes for fair sport compared to the person who just races.

Sure you might be opening a can of worms if you say something. You may find out that 25% of the dudes in your club are on something. My guess is some of those stop doing what they are doing once they realize they are in violation of anti doping. By opening a can of worms you have the ability to clean up the sport more than someone who justs races. If someone is on the BOD and they don't want to open a can or worms or are afraid to, do they really have what it takes to serve on a BOD?

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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
Virtually impossible to get a tue for t. And that’s being lenient.



That used to be the case. It may not be anymore.

For your reading pleasure, the the USADA description of the RCTUE (around page 8). The interview of the USADA Director of Science where he describes new "flexibility" with amateur athletes. And, lastly, the recent sanction announcement for an amateur cyclist for testosterone where the sanction is used as what I will cynically call an "advertisement" for the RCTUE.

However, given all that, what, exactly, a "recreational" athlete is, is still pretty vague.

But that last one makes me think that there are probably guys out there with TUEs for T. It's just not entirely clear to me what their limitations are in terms of results. You apparently can't get one if you've placed in the top 3 in a field of more than 50. But apparently you can win small events, or place incredibly high in large events. It's annoying to me that USADA hasn't been more transparent.
Last edited by: trail: Nov 6, 18 6:09
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
JasoninHalifax wrote:
Virtually impossible to get a tue for t. And that’s being lenient.


That used to be the case. It may not be anymore.

For your reading pleasure, the the USADA description of the RCTUE (around page 8). The interview of the USADA Director of Science where he describes new "flexibility" with amateur athletes. And, lastly, the recent sanction announcement for an amateur cyclist for testosterone where the sanction is used as what I will cynically call an "advertisement" for the RCTUE.

However, given all that, what, exactly, a "recreational" athlete is, is still pretty vague.

But that last one makes me think that there are probably guys out there with TUEs for T. It's just not entirely clear to me what their limitations are in terms of results. It's annoying to me that USADA hasn't been more transparent.

Yeah, I was reading up on it, and frankly I can't make heads nor tails of the policy. I've been trying to find something which lays out in clear language what the RCTUE is, who it covers, and what is permissible and not permissible under the RCTUE. So far, nothing....

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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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Great thread, and great posts

I guess if you are racing competitively (podium, ranking, qualification, ...) the need for a TUE seems logical.

For Age Groupers with no real expectations (MoP ans BoP) apart leisure, happy to finish, chasing their own PR but with no weight on the race, do you think it could make sense to have a kind of "pre-DSQ" category.

If I have a health problem, taking some forbidden medication, I declare to the race organiser, I'm "pre-DSQ", then I will race, have fun, get my time just for information, will be officially DSQ (no interference with serious race) but I know I will not go with random drug test.

Make sense for temporary health problems ? If permanent, I will spend time to get real TUE ?
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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I very much agree with your points. I don't know that we are being hypocritical (yet), because this is just something we've never had to deal with, it was something we gained knowledge of in just the past two weeks, and I'm trying to gather info so that we can address and have a better/clear policy for the future.

It's not pleasant, nor something that I want to deal with, especially since ours (BOD) are volunteer positions and we have our own careers, families, etc... to deal with and this will be a time suck. But, as you said, we accepted the positions within sport and have the responsibility to uphold the fairness of sport. As I stated from the start, the info is out in the open and for us to turn a blind eye is unacceptable and would make us just as complicit if we did.

Thanks everyone for your input thus far. We greatly appreciate it.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [Pyrenean Wolf] [ In reply to ]
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Pyrenean Wolf wrote:

Great thread, and great posts


For Age Groupers with no real expectations (MoP ans BoP) apart leisure, happy to finish, chasing their own PR but with no weight on the race, do you think it could make sense to have a kind of "pre-DSQ" category.

If I have a health problem, taking some forbidden medication, I declare to the race organiser, I'm "pre-DSQ", then I will race, have fun, get my time just for information, will be officially DSQ (no interference with serious race) but I know I will not go with random drug test.

Make sense for temporary health problems ? If permanent, I will spend time to get real TUE ?

With a slightly different 'sentiment' this is how is currently works.

I was taking pred ( a steroid) for a good couple of years (not a pleasant experience I can assure you). I would 'declare' it on the entry form in medicines box. That's it, unless I get tested, in which case I would have to apply for a TUE (and only then). Which as I said above would most definitely be granted.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [Pyrenean Wolf] [ In reply to ]
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The issue I see with that and I like the idea.

Right now AGers don’t really know the guidelines. Whether lazy, whether ignorant, or USAT doing bad job of informing it’s members- no one really knows that half the meds your doc gives you likely is illegal to use and then compete in.

And I’m not blaming either party, I think it’s impossivle to get the info to the general public because we don’t care. We don’t care to vote on any inniniatives, you think people care to know about doping rules? Hell no. So USAT can send out emails, it can include it as part of your membership and we’ll simply sign the document not even acknowledging we just swore to understood the wada guidelines.

Which is why I’ve always been anti AG testing when we suck ass at the pro testing. So I get their is a segment that is cheating to win, I also know their is a segment that is “cheating” that has no clue they are breakint rules. And if the old “well they suck they won’t get tested” then find a way to segment the population that you can test properly and soccer mom doesn’t have to worry about her husband losing his job because she doped and got popped for it because she had flu meds when her 8 year old son’s friend had a cold and she got the flu a week later.

Like let’s find a way to categorize this to allow people to freely race with no issues and let’s target the ones we need to target.

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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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tuckandgo wrote:
Pyrenean Wolf wrote:

Great thread, and great posts


For Age Groupers with no real expectations (MoP ans BoP) apart leisure, happy to finish, chasing their own PR but with no weight on the race, do you think it could make sense to have a kind of "pre-DSQ" category.

If I have a health problem, taking some forbidden medication, I declare to the race organiser, I'm "pre-DSQ", then I will race, have fun, get my time just for information, will be officially DSQ (no interference with serious race) but I know I will not go with random drug test.

Make sense for temporary health problems ? If permanent, I will spend time to get real TUE ?


With a slightly different 'sentiment' this is how is currently works.

I was taking pred ( a steroid) for a good couple of years (not a pleasant experience I can assure you). I would 'declare' it on the entry form in medicines box. That's it, unless I get tested, in which case I would have to apply for a TUE (and only then). Which as I said above would most definitely be granted.

Don't you need a TUE -before- you get tested?? Seems to defeat the purpose of a TUE if they are simply given out retroactively?
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [SBRcanuck] [ In reply to ]
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No you can get retro active TUE.

Good example- medical tent post race and you get Iv. Almost any size you get will be beyond the allowed amount and thus you’ll have to apply for an TUE for that. They don’t want you to miss medical treatment if you need it in an emergency type of situation. Get the treatment and then get the proper paperwork filled out.

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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [SBRcanuck] [ In reply to ]
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SBRcanuck wrote:
tuckandgo wrote:
Pyrenean Wolf wrote:

Great thread, and great posts


For Age Groupers with no real expectations (MoP ans BoP) apart leisure, happy to finish, chasing their own PR but with no weight on the race, do you think it could make sense to have a kind of "pre-DSQ" category.

If I have a health problem, taking some forbidden medication, I declare to the race organiser, I'm "pre-DSQ", then I will race, have fun, get my time just for information, will be officially DSQ (no interference with serious race) but I know I will not go with random drug test.

Make sense for temporary health problems ? If permanent, I will spend time to get real TUE ?


With a slightly different 'sentiment' this is how is currently works.

I was taking pred ( a steroid) for a good couple of years (not a pleasant experience I can assure you). I would 'declare' it on the entry form in medicines box. That's it, unless I get tested, in which case I would have to apply for a TUE (and only then). Which as I said above would most definitely be granted.


Don't you need a TUE -before- you get tested?? Seems to defeat the purpose of a TUE if they are simply given out retroactively?

No you absolutely don't.

I can only speak for myself and the 'grouping' I am in, which is amateur (as opposed to being on a national team over some level - U23, olympic, on the whereabouts programme etc.) I don't know if being British and coming under the UKAD is different from how it is done in the US.
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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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I used to be more of a hard ass on this topic, and was firmly in the "he can't race" group. Now I have somewhat tempered that opinion due to two things. 1. Testosterone use among master male age group athletes is a lost cause. So yeah, I give up, but ..... 2. The effects are pretty small when compared to oxygen vectoring drugs. This is an easier position for me because I don't have low T and I do have a VO2 max in the 99th percentile for my age... so I am generally not getting beat by the mid packer on T. I still think Moats is a d-bag.


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Re: Doping? - Age Groupers [triclubpres] [ In reply to ]
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The guy cannot race. If he does and the club turns a blind eye to it, I would immediately terminate my membership with that club if I were a member.

If he does race, anyone who knows about his T treatment has an obligation to report him to WADA, IMO.

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