Dope Testing in Texas and North Carolina

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I got a few messages about USADA showing up yesterday at the Texas State Time Trial Championships and drug testing virtually the whole Cat 1 field. Plus some more Cat 3 riders. I haven’t spoken with anyone that was actually there, but I looked at the TXBRA forum and it has a thread about the whole thing, but it’s all rumors at this time.

So, someone racing this event must have popped up on Joe Papp’s list or some other place and USADA was just trying to avoid the circumstantial route. Kind of like when they showed up at Dewey’s house right after Joe Marin last year. It’s much easier when you have a positive test or a refusal than just an order off a computer shipped to an address.

One thing I hate about this testing/investigation methods is that it isn’t always transparent. Like the Phil Zajicek doping thing. Originally it was held behind closed doors and his name only surfaced through the grape vine. It seems to me if USADA has enough information to proceed with a doping procedure that they should be able to announce that name to the public. There might be lots more information floating around out there and it will no be heard unless the whole procedure is in a public forum.

I heard for a few people that a bunch of master guys from the East coast were caught up in the whole Papp deal, but that the FDA had gotten involved and that they had relinquished their licenses and there wasn’t going to be an USADA procedure brought against them. I know it has the same effect, that guys taking drugs aren’t racing bikes, but I think that anyone they competed against deserves to know that they were beaten by someone taking drugs. I think the rational here is that USADA doesn’t want to spend of money bringing cases against a bunch of masters and that if the FDA threatens or does the job of ridding the sport of this guys, then there is more money to use against more public riders that are winning or racing higher level events. But for some reason it seems wrong that we don’t get to know who was involved and “caught”.

It going to be interesting to see if anyone is caught in this Texas thing. I don’t even know exactly who was racing the event. I’d be surprised if it is all for naught because USADA wouldn’t have been there unless they had some pretty strong evidence.

So, I just got a text from Jared Nieters (XO Communications / Battley Harley-Davidson), who was down in Charlotte at the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium last night. He said USADA showed up in full force and tested 10 guys there too. Guess USADA wasn’t only looking for masters now. Big crack down on home turf. It’s about time.

I got this email from Dave Wenger today, current US Elite Criterium Champion and all around good guy, from Austin –

Hey Steve-
I read your blog and figured I’d reach out. USADA was at the event. They instructed me after my finish that I was to head to doping control. A bit shocked, I found ~10 other bikes outside of doping control and they tested the entire Pro-1 field. A handful of other randoms where in the building for testing, but I wasn’t paying too much attention to who was/ was not there. From what I remember, everyone from the Cat1 field was there but there might be a guy I don’t recall making it to the building.

After my test, I spoke with Bradley Guye from USADA (he gave me his biz card) who was running the operation. He said that is was very hush-hush (paraphrasing here.) No one knew. The promoter didn’t know about it, the officials didn’t know about it, and I sure as heck didn’t know about any testing for a 11 rider field. Second hand, I did hear that some riders staying at the only hotel in town the night prior to the TT did see someone at that location wearing USADA clothing, so there might have been the slightest of an inkling that doping control could be at the event.

20 thoughts on “Dope Testing in Texas and North Carolina

  1. steevo

    10 dudes got tested at Charlotte last night.
    A lot of the randoms seemed not random (teammates of people who have gotten caught very recently)

  2. bob

    Yes about time. next stop SoCal masters, i have not raced for a couple years, went to a race today and when we staged i wondered if i was in the right place. half the field looked like they were in a body building competition and this was the 45 plus masters!
    Funny these guys are so ripped and taut now that they are in their late 40’s early 50’s but i have raced them for decades and they never looked like this before, hmmmmmm.
    Seriously i would say there were 20 guys who had a 30 inch waist or less, huge thighs and biceps and chest, and extremly ripped it looked like a 100 meter dash field.
    and these guys are fast approaching Social Security?
    Please help bust the druggies

  3. Paul

    It’s about time.
    This sort of ‘blitz’ testing is really the best option for USADA at this point. All they currently have from Papp is a list of names -circumstantial at best – and everyone on that list should suspect that they are under scrutiny which makes catching them red-handed a little tricky.
    So what do they do? Wait for them to let their guard down…then wait some more… and then bam! Get a large number of samples quickly before word gets out and see who pops up in the net.

  4. Fabio Cardoso

    About time… Make sure send them down S. Florida too. I got back into racing again in the Pro 1,2 class. Make a long story short… I’ve never seen such a hard racing in Fl. in the last 10 years. It takes your breath away and legs…. ( The avg. speeds are much higher ). About 6 weeks ago, while riding on the winning break ( I dropped out the break ) our first 14 miles we avg. 30 mph !! On a rolling course with wind and hills. These guys who were pulling have no business racing in FL. They should be doing European Classics with such show of power. And by the way… these clowns while riding, you could see on their faces the same aggressiveness and power after 3 hours of punishing racing. Natural ? I think not…

  5. Nick

    Oh no, a guy is ripped, fast and he beats me! He must be doping!

    It can’t have anything to do with advances in training techniques, recovery devices/techniques, power meters, nutrition, paradigm shifts of quality vs. quantity, and the greater accessibility to knowledge of such advances.

    Speeds go up, entire regions of racers get fitter/faster to keep up with the next guy. It’s the nature of sport.

    Yes there are amateur dopers, but it’s truly not as widespread as some folks make it out to be.

  6. dirty_juheesus!

    The million-dollar question: was USAC notified of the tests? I think one can fairly estimate a number of factors regarding USAC’s doping practices. (not policy) if we know if USAC was notified.

    Policy is a moot question. We know they are as mum on doping as Pat and Hein.

  7. dirty_juheesus!


    The last time “paradigm shifts” were being discussed in cycling was the go-go 90’s.

    Ed Coyle and his crackpot Armstrong theories, midfield Pro’s suddenly driving the pace, absurd Watts/Kilo…..

    If you stay up late enough, you can see the infomertial dredging for MD’s to sell their hormones to patients as the fountain of youth. You bet Masters are juicing.

  8. bob

    Yes advanced training , its called doping. Younger riders with enough upper body muscle to resemble football players able to climb at incredible rates and drop everyone. That could be sour grapes.
    However when you see guys with the exact same body composition who are now well into their 50’s an age when their natural hormone levels could never support such a muscle structure. That tells you the older riders HAVE to be doping, & since they are carbon copies in body type & composition, chances are the younger guys are not clean either.
    Drugs are so available they are advertised on TV
    “If you are over 50 and u just dont have the energy or strength to do the things you used to do, talk to your doctor about hormone therapy”
    wake up Nick we are surrounded by dopers

  9. Jack

    I follow the blog because I am trying to stay in shape . . . . what is the penalty if you pop positive for something that wouldnt necessarily make you a faster rider i.e. THC would you also become suspended?

  10. FHG

    So the TXBRA forum fascist removed all threads and posts related to doping controls, now why would those posts be removed?

  11. Steve Wathke

    Maybe i’m naieve but I just dont see why Masters are doping. There is no money in bike racing especially Masters racing. Where do people find these drugs? I’ve never seen anyone take them or sell them. I’ve never been offered them either. Seems like a fun topic though. I would be curious how many guys would come up positive here in Kansas. I’m gonna guess 3-4 tops. Maybe I just havent seen this dark side of cycling. Hope I never do.

  12. Dave Bartol

    With “cenegenics” as advertised on TV masters racers could be ripped into their 70’s – oh boy!


    could someone post pics of these super masters, you know the ones with 30″ waists and linebacker upper bodies .
    I’m not saying some masters aren’t doping I just haven’t seen these supermen

  14. Fabio

    If you have been racing long enough to notice the body type of winning riders on endurance races. For sure you will noticed they are not muscle heads, huge body ( some have big legs ), but for the most part they don’t have big muscles. Big muscles = burns too much energy, heavy, etc… not a good combo for an endurance race. Then, you are at a race and you see someone too aggressive and full of testosterone angry Pro 1, 2 ( non-professional level ) making the pace stay in the upper 20’s close to 30 mph. PLEASE !! We are not talking about Nationals Crit level racing with 120 top pro riders, this is a local race. They are all doing it naturally ? So, I ask… How come these clowns don’t show up at the State Championships and when they do… 25 mph will just do fine ? Juice !!


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