USATF masters are subject to snitch program — as cyclist, 59, was

Here USADA page that invites folks to finger suspected drug cheats — even in the masters ranks.

Nobody is safe. That’s my takeaway from an exchange of email I had Thursday with Brad Horn, a spokesman for USADA — the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. I queried him on how 59-year-old cyclist came to be sanctioned for refusing an out-of-competition drug test. I wanted to know where he was when he was solicited. (Brad doesn’t know yet.)

But he said: “Ultimately, this case was the result of target testing, based on credible information received through USADA’s Play Clean Tip Line. USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Investigations are important in these efforts to preserve the integrity of sport and athletes are encouraged to use this service.” Gulp.

Then I asked whether USATF masters athletes are part of the program.

He replied: “Yes, the Play Clean line is designed to provide tips in any sport where USADA may have a role or relationship. Our investigative efforts then will determine what steps, if any, we take when it comes to target testing. We are responsible for those costs.” Double gulp.

So now we know anyone can be fingered at any time. Take care out there. 

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at or Story tips always welcome!

2 Comments on "USATF masters are subject to snitch program — as cyclist, 59, was"

  1. So I click on this story to read but first, Ken, I see the pop up survey which I complete. Then it asks me to claim my reward. Testosterone Booster !! RUT-ROW…LOL

  2. What I don’t like about this is the witch hunt atmosphere. I am certain there are many masters athletes who take prescribed meds that are banned and are able to stop taking them before competitions so they don’t test positive. Many substances that are banned both in and out of competition are contained in prescribed meds for the aging population. Let’s face it if you try to get a TUE and are denied USADA will test you. You’ve given them reason to do it. So all of you who are taking a banned substance during the off season for a legit medical reason you’d better keep your mouth shut about it or a supposed friend may turn you in. I am certainly against doping but damn this is getting ridiculous.

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