The sport of cycling, like the nation of Germany, is rightfully ashamed of its doping history. But that has led to some crazy superstrict policies. One has gotten a lot of attention: the loss of an M90 world record in the 2-kilometer individual pursuit at the unfortunately named Masters Track National Championships. (My local paper reported the case without mentioning the sport!) Carl Grove of Indiana, the gent who accepted a public warning, apparently ate contaminated meat the night before his July WR.
USA Cycling drug-tests everyone who sets a world record.
The Guardian newspaper said: “Grove told the Associated Press this week that he believes taxpayers’ money would be better spent on catching more serious offenders. “Us old guys are kind of like peanuts. I think that they’re wasting their time,” he said. “What can I gain at 90 years old doing drugs? Tell me, I just don’t know. So I think that somewhere there ought to be a cutoff and they ought to zero in on the stuff that is done for money reasons or whatever it may be. But I think after 65 or 70, you know, they ought to just give up.”
My thought exactly. Which is why I posted this comment on Facebook: “I saw this days ago and laughed. Nobody at this age should be subject to drug-testing humiliation and shame. Luckily, he got off with a warning. But what nonsense that he be subject to doping control.”
Eddie Seese replied: “what’s the next exception? Should I get an exception since I take testosterone to keep my levels in band so I can recover from daily life, stay a man, keep my energy level, and maintain a sex drive?”
To which I parried: “Slippery slope arguments don’t impress me. NRA uses them too. Also anti-LGBT folks (man-on-dog fears)”
But the biggest hoot came from USADA chief Travis Tygart, who was quoted as saying: “Under the sport’s rules, and track and field has a similar rule, in order for a world record to be ratified, the individual who broke the record has to be tested. If you look at [Grove’s] testing history on our website, you can see we’ve tested him, it looks like, six times now dating back to 2012. All of these have been because he’s set a world record.”
Rex Harvey, our national masters chair, told me: “He is definitely wrong about Masters Track & Field testing all world record (setters). They do not.” But later he said: “If that is cycling’s rule, and I understand it is, then of course they have to test him.”
So that’s how USA Cycling rolls. Glad we’re not that anal.
On Facebook, I was asked what age should be the end of masters track drug-testing. I suggested 85 (with an exception carved out for me at 65 this summer.)
But what do you think?
Contribute to support independent track and field journalism: