Sunday, January 6, 2008

Triathlon Cheating: The E-Mails, 60 Minutes - Roger Clemens

Over the last few days I've had several dozen e-mails about a lot of folks personal experience and knowledge of friends and colleagues who "cheat" in our sport. Here was the breakdown:

  • Drafting = 24
  • Blocking = 22
  • Littering = 18
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct (swearing at fellow racers or similar) = 18
  • Doping (using legitimate Rx inhalers to gain an advantage, "Andro", asking the family doctor for an anti-aging Rx: aka, hGH) = 16

That's a lot of email. These emails came from all over the world. All age groups were represented.

So, I'm struggling with what to discuss, especially after watching the Roger Clemens interview from 60 Minutes. I don't know about you...but Roger still leaves me suspicious. IF Roger is telling the truth that he didn't dope...then Brian goes to jail per his agreement with the US Feds. Hmm, then why would he lie Roger? That question wasn't asked. That would have been my question.

I also read Dick Pound's book about doping in U.S. sport and in it he also comments on the WADA, the TdF and other events. It was very interesting. He suggests that guys who claim they never tested positive are dirty calling them sophisticated dopers (he is specifically attacking Lance Armstrong). I don't totally agree. Did Lance dope? I have no idea. There is a lot of evidence for and against and much of it is gray area. I don't think we'll ever know for sure. I don't know Lance. I don't know anyone who is friends with Lance. I really want for him NOT to have doped. It was so fun to watch! The same goes for Floyd Landis. I met him last February. Seems honest. Seems genuinely hacked off that he (at the time) was accused of doping. In 2007, he had his TdF title pulled from him for a testosterone level 11 x higher than normal. He says the sample was tampered with...seems he has a legit beef. Who do I believe as a fan and athlete? There are other athletes called out in the book too as well as a list of athletes ranging from 22 to 36 who all died from doping related illness. Can you imagine?

My suggestion...

  1. legit athletes should train very hard and try to compete with the cheaters anyway
  2. legit athletes should call out cheating; doping, drafting, whatever - memorize the number and talk to the officials
  3. work with race officials as an athlete and become an official when you aren't competing
  4. Most Importantly: KEEP YOUR OWN NOSE CLEAN; it is all you can really control. Don't draft, don't block. Ask your doctor BEFORE she/he gives you an Rx if it is WADA compliant.

I just asked my new foot specialist (plantar and Achilles issues again) to verify that his Rx for my leg/foot is WADA and US ADA compliant. Will I get drug tested? Unlikely! (More like fat chance!) At least I took steps to ensure that I'm clean.

I guess that is all I can do along with my own suggestions.


  1. I agree with your point. Just FYI, though, Floyd's testosterone level wasn't 11 times above normal. It was the ratio of his testosterone to epitestosterone that was 11 (and that was because his Epi level was abnormally low) which, as rediculous as it sounds,is a violation. His actual testosterone level was actually below normal for an adult male. Kinda makes all those "roid rage" comments look a little silly, doesn't it?


  2. Hi Dan - Yes, you are correct. I'll have to put some more detail on Floyd in this entry. Like I said, I kinda think Floyd is clean and was messed with...but I've been wrong before (won't be the last time either.)

    Thanks for reading.