Tainted Supplements? Rich Meeker Suspended

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I wrote most of this Friday night, then kind of finished it yesterday morning. I was surprised how many emails and comments from people I received yesterday before anything had really been released. After reading other people’s reaction to the suspension, mine now seems sort of tame. I’ve known Rich from way back. Back when he started travelling out of the state of Pennsylvania. He shared a dorm area at Doby in Austin during the Tour of Texas, one year, with Michael Dell, the Dell of Dell computers. He is a nice guy and I hate to throw him under the bus. I’ve heard the rumors for years. I talked to a friend from SoCal, that hasn’t raced since the early 90’s, and told him a “local” rider had been suspended and he instantly guessed Rich Meeker. And he is really removed from the sport. That is how prevelant the rumors were. Click on the link at the bottom and read the blog post there. He covers it from a different perspective, one of a guy that races with Rich all the time. I can’t find any fault in his thought process. I sorta hate writing about doping deals two days in row. It most likely will be three tomorrow after reading that Bruyneel is most likely not showing up for his arbitration hearing. Anyway, my post below.

I read just a bit ago at Cycling Illustrated, that Rich Meeker, a friend I’ve raced with for decades, was positive for 19-norandrosterone, which I have no idea what that is.

Rich says he did what Scott Monniger did and took all his supplements in for testing and found one to be the cause. If that is the case, then I’m wondering the reason for the 2 year ban? I thought in cases like these, a shorter ban would be given. I believe Scott’s suspension was 1 year, but that was a while ago. It did say that the ban is over as of September 2014. Maybe he hasn’t raced since September 2012? Okay, I just went and looked a his results from USAC and he hasn’t raced since September 2012. (Man, I don’t think I’ve seen a results page ever in my life with so many 1st places, ever. Wow.)

I don’t really know what to say. I haven’t raced against Rich for a really long time. He mainly does Master’s races. I’ve been told by a bunch of Southern Cal friends, that sometimes Rich is going way too good. That doesn’t make him guilty of anything, but I hate it when I’ve heard suspicions from many other riders and then a guy gets popped for doping. It seems way too coincidental.

If Rich really has a contaminated supplement case, then I hope he pursues it legally. He says he just does cycling for a hobby in the article, but it is much more than a hobby for him, after looking at his results.

I’m wondering why this is the first time I’ve heard about this doping infraction. I definitely would remember if I’d heard this before. Since it seems like he’s been suspended for a year now, where is the official release from USADA or USAC that says Rich was positive and what race it was at? I think it is really strange.

I really don’t know the deal with all the masters racers using drugs. Guys riding Grand Fondos too. I’m not sure of the exact details, but I heard from a very reliable source a while back, that a ton of masters guys were popped, I think with the Joe Papp deal, but USADA didn’t want to spend the money to bring cases against them. So somehow, maybe USAC ,USADA or someone, got the FDA involved. I think it was the FDA, anyway, the positive guys were given a choice to relinguish their racing licenses forever or they were going to face some criminal charges for buying drugs through the mail.

I thought it was bullshit. I want to know every name of every rider that gets caught. Because it is pretty hard getting caught if you’re exclusively racing master’s races. I’d say nearly impossible if you have any knowledge at all. I think every guy that has taken drugs, especially in the US at masters events, need to be shamed by their peers. None of this, you just disappear forever deal.

Like I said above, it is so weird when you hear rumors about riders, and then they get busted much later, maybe years later. It seems so crazy. If everyone knows a guy is taking drugs, I know nothing you, or anyone can do, through official channels, to report the issue. I’ve heard of local midwest riders trying to call USADA to report riders for drug infractions and the guys that I’ve talked to say it is pretty much a dead end road. I have no idea how to do it, but it seems like there should be way for suspisious activity to be reported.

Okay, I’m on a tangent here. It seems like all the excuses have been made. Nothing really surprises me in this realm much anymore. I’m not sure what Rich is going to do to show he “races clean” when he comes back in September 2014. I’m periodically accused of doping. The few others that have accused me either don’t know me or were in a state of adrenaline insanity. I have no idea how anyone could show anyone else they race clean. If someone figures that out, we should patent it.

Here’s a link I just saw to a pretty great post. The best quote of the post is – If you race masters in SoCal and you don’t understand that drugs are rampant here, you are an imbecile.

He's looking pretty ripped here, which isn't good for the home team in his case.

He’s looking pretty ripped here, which isn’t good for the home team in his case.

19 thoughts on “Tainted Supplements? Rich Meeker Suspended

  1. steevo

    First time I have seen any mention of Joe P in a long time. He allegedly had a list of more than 100 people. Less than a handful of people were actually caught (leogrande, chodroff..)…. What happened to the rest? I hate playing this card, but if he were a black person selling other drugs, he would be lucky to see daylight again.

    That interview is hilarious. He genuinely seems surprised that the interviewer doesnt know him or his racing results. So Cal is a bubble man…. Seriously nobody cares who wins masters races.

  2. John

    Steve, You are treading pretty lightly on this.
    Seems like you don’t want to push a buddy under the bus?
    Call it what it is- a doping positive.
    He could have come forward when he was notified (fall 2012) and tried to clear his name.
    But he chose to fight, hoping to get off on a technicality.
    To me a masters doper is worse than a pro doper- at least the pro is making money by doping.

  3. J. S. Wheaton

    How expensive is the dope he allegedly used? How expensive is the entrance fee for a large UCI sanctioned Masters race?


    j swheaton

  4. nancy

    The contamination is possible but I remember the case for the Amben Neben’s lawsuit against Hammer nutrition. She claimed that her positive test after the world cup was caused by supplements contamination but there is no real settlement that I can find online. Hammer claimed for their defense that a lot of their athletes (her teammates) took their products and did not test positive over the years. It wasn’t possible to test again the same batch but I think Hammer claimed they haven’t found the substance but Amber said she found it.


  5. H Luce

    Steroid chemistry is fun, did it back when I was an undergrad at KU: “19-Norandrosterone is a nandrolone and 19-norandrostenedione metabolite. It is created as a byproduct of nandrolone via the 5-alpha reductase enzyme and is on the list of substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency since it is a detectable metabolite of nandrolone which is an anabolic steroid.[1] Consumption of androstendione products contaminated with traces of 19-norandrostenedione also results in testing positive for nandrolone.[2]” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/19-Norandrosterone

    “Nandrolone (19-nortestosterone) is an anabolic steroid. Nandrolone is most commonly sold commercially as its decanoate ester (Deca-Durabolin) and less commonly as a phenylpropionate ester (Durabolin). Nandrolone decanoate is used in the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women (though now not recommended) at a dose of 50 mg every three weeks. It is also used for some aplastic anemias. … The positive effects of the drug include muscle growth, appetite stimulation and increased red blood cell production and bone density. Clinical studies have shown it to be effective in treating anaemia, osteoporosis and some forms of neoplasia including breast cancer, and also acts as a progestin-based contraceptive.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nandrolone

  6. H Luce

    Meeker is still in trouble, even if his supplement, most likely androstenedione, was tainted with nandrolone: “On March 12, 2004, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 was introduced into the United States Senate. It amended the Controlled Substance Act to place both anabolic steroids and prohormones on a list of controlled substances, making possession of the banned substances a federal crime. The law took effect on January 20, 2005. However, androstenedione was legally defined as an anabolic steroid, even though there is scant evidence that androstenedione itself is anabolic in nature.
    On April 11, 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of androstenedione, citing that the drug poses significant health risks commonly associated with steroids. The side effects for men include breast development, behavioral changes, heart disease, and more. Side effects for women are similar to the side effects from anabolic steroids in that their voices will deepen and they may grow facial hair since both occur from an increase level of testosterone. Another side effect of androstenedione is male pattern baldness. The main psychological side effect of androstenedione is depression. Mood swings are also common of any user. [6]” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androstenedione

  7. H Luce

    The article actually says that the “supplement” was “contaminated” with 19-norandrostenediol, not the dione, but Wikipedia says this about the diol: “Bolandiol (19-norandrostenediol) is a synthetic anabolic steroid. It is hypothesized by interaction with androgen receptors, estrogen receptors, and progestin receptors.[1] Bolandiol is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances,[2] and is therefore banned from use in most major sports. It is a potential metabolic precursor to nandrolone.[3] However, several clinical studies have concluded that bolandiol does not alter strength, body composition, or exercise performance.[4][5]” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolandiol

    OK, the 19-norandrostenediol “does not alter strength, body composition, or exercise performance” and research on androstenedione similarly shows “no proof of it promoting muscle growth.” (notes 4, 8-10, and 12 in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androstenedione). Only Nandrolone has been shown to induce “muscle growth, appetite stimulation and increased red blood cell production and bone density” which are the sorts of effects a bicycle racer using this PED would be looking for to enhance race performance and results. Therefore, I don’t buy the “tainted supplement” theory at all, I think he was using Nandrolone and got caught red-handed.

  8. Rob Templin

    Just heard about this on the local group ride here in So Cal today. It’s been awhile since I raced (and since I have to use Adrogel, racing is out of the question any way in the Masters ranks), just don’t get it at this level.

  9. Bernd Faust

    Now the guy has time to think, let his hair grow back on his legs, grow a beard, be natural, smile have fun…be for real or stay out of the light…
    I thought for a while….. winners are the fittest, they recover fastest, they are the energizer bunnies..turns out they are often if not always boring like that guy in the interview and than disappear, while the “Loosers” have fun hang around and enjoy themselves with friends and family…
    Mit freundlichen Gruessen, no longer legs shaving Bernd

  10. mark

    Even IF his claim of a contaminated supplement is true., the ban still stays. Its now about how it got in your body, its that fact that it was in your body. He’s pointing the blame on the supplement manufacture, but hasn’t stated (or I missed it) what that supplement is. I’m sure a lot of people want to know just in case. Xendurance was the teams supplier at one point and their stuff is tested and certified free of any banned substances. Maybe he was taking other stuff and not the teams sponsor stuff.

  11. Phipps

    “and took all his supplements in for testing”
    Looks like he takes a lot of supplements. I’ve never been into supplements at all. If you eat well you don’t need them.

  12. Suzanne Sonye

    If the athlete does not accept the doping charge and chooses to appeal and have the B sample tested and obtain a lawyer, USADA will not release any information and until the case is finalized. The only way you would ever find anything out is if someone involved leaks to the press, which in this case it would not benefit Rich.

    I’ve reported a rider to USADA and I did have to call twice, and it’s not fun…and make sure you are VERY clear. If you need to call back then call back. You do not have to give your name.

    I’ve heard the rumor for 20+ and I’m extremely disappointed, what I’ve come to realize, generally, in these doping cases rumor’s turn out to be true, sadly.

  13. David Crowe

    I agree with John. I’ve always enjoyed your blogs when you excoriate the dopers and call a dog a “dog” and not a “rabbit” or a “porcupine”, but boy, you are more than a little gentle with this doping megalomaniac. Tainted by supplements? Come on, Steve, you know that’s a buggy full of bullshit. He’s a master’s doper, he is a liar, and apparently he has the resources to push an incredibly lame defense. Now we know he was also fueled by go-juice, and though his masters results may still stand, I am sure everyone last one of them was a result of his use of PEDs. I hope you keep calling a dog a “dog” and not a swan, albeit a black one.

    David Crowe


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