Drugs are Bad, MmmK?

Before you read this post, I insist that you read this article: Two Year Ban for Micheal Weiss

It’s not often that controversy or drama creeps its way in to NUE endurance racing (maybe with the exception of last year’s Fool’s Gold “two winners” course marshalling debacle). What happened on Sunday at the Breck 100 is a much more evil and ominous form of controversy and drama.  Micheal Weiss, the pro triathlete who is currently serving a two year ban from his sport for blood doping, beat out Josh Tostado.

My favorite part of the article I linked to above is this quote: “This is not from anything that is remotely recent. The allegation dates back to 2005, as I was a professional mountain biker…”

So, let me get this straight. When you’re a triathlete, you’re not doping, but when you’re a pro mountain biker, things get hazy?

I’m actually not going to pass any sort of judgement as to whether or not Weiss is currently doping. Dopers who are at the very top level of their sport aren’t there because they’re marginal athletes who take a bunch of drugs. They’re typically already stellar athletes who are able to use drugs to get to the top. It’s plausible that Weiss is not on anything other than hopes and dreams right now. However, given his past record, it’s equally as plausible that he’s on more drugs than a nursing home patient.

My disappointment lies in the fact that, while it is an elite-level national series of races, the National Ultra Endurance series essentially deals with doping on the honors system. Being the realistic person that I am, I know that Ryan O’Dell and the NUE race promoters do not have the financial, logistical, and legal resources that are required to implement USADA-style doping controls. It’s the sad truth, but I think at this point, the best recourse is what Ryan is doing right now, and not allowing Weiss to collect series points.

(Photo courtesy of Thom Parsons at Cyclingdirt)

It’s a tough issue with lots of grey areas. Open any health/fitness magazine, and there are full-page ads for testosterone replacement therapy for middle age/older men. If one of the masters guys is on T-therapy for clinically-measured low levels, and the therapy keeps him just within “normal” testosterone levels for a healthy man, is that considered doping? What about people who have been caught? Some people say “banned for life!” while others say once they’ve served their time away, they’re forgiven. What about people, like Weiss, who are currently serving a ban?

I won’t claim to know the answers to these things, but I think they’re questions worth asking. They’re worth making rules for. As long as the NUE races aren’t under the thumb of USA Cycling, there needs to be at least an acknowledgement that, indeed, doping exists, and we don’t take kindly to it.


5 thoughts on “Drugs are Bad, MmmK?

  1. Andrea,
    I’ve been lurking here since I saw you at Syllamos, although I’m trying hard to forget that whole weekend. I cannot find details about MW’s contraversy on the web and even my friends who were there didn’t know Ryan was pulling his points. I guess you’re now a news source.

  2. Just to clarify,
    I meant the above comment as a compliment; You’ve got the inside scoop.
    To comment on the article: Nue should not be a place for dopers to fall into after getting caught. Lance, floyd, mw… I guess they want to compete just like we do, but it would be nice if we could do without them.

  3. ANYTIME a rider tries to split hairs about when/where the accusations originate, they are doping. WTF? Who says that shit-“I’ve only been inplicated in tri, so I’m cool over here because I’m mountain biking” Bullshit. DOPERS SUCK. Go back to tri-oh right, you’re banned there you punk b*tch.

  4. dopers really do suck. i found out in leadville 100 in 2005 that doping is prevalent outside the pro ranks. at least the pros have their future on the line but for amateurs there is nothing to gain but bragging rights. i can’t understand the mentality of somebody who is proud of a good finish that has been achieved that way.

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