EWS Doping Thread Disappearance

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11/26/2018 12:51 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 12:57 PM

I can only imagine it’s a vicious cycle of injury/ concussion, reaction time, and the “aderal/amphetamine advantage”. A lot of wide open eyes in the supercross scene. Similar demands in Enduro.

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11/26/2018 12:59 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Lot of mixed feelings on this one.

On one hand I've been around competitive cycling, in just about every discipline, for most of my life (20 years?). Doping and cycling have been synonymous since I can remember. Like others in this thread (and on Pinkbike) I also want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but struggle to do so, as I was probably the biggest "lance is clean" guy going...and was made to look a fool. (this happened other times too)

I also find it a bit unnerving and a bummer to see that photo of Graves taking all those "supplements". I put this in quotes because the word supplements can encompass so much. From a simple vitamin to some bath salts like substance.

...and its here I think my inner dialog starts to hee and haw.

On one hand David is right, these are pros getting paid to ride their bikes. They should be aware of what the rules are. They should be aware of what they are putting in their bodies.

On the other hand, everyone is looking for an edge, and where the line between a "clean edge" (good bikes setup, good diet) and a dirty edge (taking a pill that makes you faster) can start to become more and more grey.

I think most of us think of doping as shady back ally type stuff with scandalous doctors with names that remind us of Italian sports cars, needles, and an obvious "choice" toward cheating. EG: the doping rage of the 90s and 2000s was not a "oh, I didn't realize EPO was banned" type of thing. It was cat and mouse style cheating. It was super obvious, and the athletes themselves knew it.

This certainly doesn't seem like that. They genuinely seemed oblivious to the fact they were doing it. Like they were driving down an old highway whereby the speed limit was changed unbeknownst to drivers. Doesn't mean they shouldn't be cited, but it does mean we probably shouldn't burn them alive.

The remaining questions to me include how much this stuff really impacts your performance? How many other substances are like it that we may or may not be taking? Are there supplement companies that are certified WADA compliant?

As much as I want to be hard on them for pushing the limit of nutrition, I can't. I've done the same thing. I've got magnesium pills. I've taken asprin before a run to keep my arm pump down. I've used an inhaler to quell my coughing fits at the end of a stage (I am diagnosed with asthma). I use caffeine to get me through a day. My point is I clearly have no ethical problem using a substance to be better. I just am operating under the motif of "others do it" so I assume its okay. I haven't read a WADA document or paid attention to this stuff.

...so ethically, morally, I'm no better than either one of these athletes. Presuming of course they had no idea what they were taking.

The EWS has a massive testing problem. This race was tested, others aren't, now with the UCI who knows whats what? Cmon. That alone should have resulted in a back room "guys you have to pay more attention" style of citation. Not this public witchhunt. But here I go flip flopping again.

Slap on the wrist. Let it go. EWS - get a plan together. And make it good. Let this serve as a warning to what could happen to the sport if its not regulated and structured properly.








Very well said and similar to my own inner ambivalence. In a perfect world, I like your alternative way of how this could have been handled. In the world we live in I fear if word got out it could be spun to look like favouritism or perceived as a Rudegate / Gravesgate coverup type situation. It would be a shame for this to placed on the same level as something like the Armstrong scandal where there was a conscious and highly sophisticated system utilized to very intentionally and covertly circumvent the system as this seems anything but.

Even if intentional, to me, it just doesnt register on the same level of magnitude or seem as duplicitous as some of those big name hormone doping instances due to the sheer complexity and effort exerted in those cases to conceal their existence. Furthermore, I feel like the advantage gained there was proportionally much greater than any "edge" they may have gained here.

I don't think they should throw the book at them as this was the first go around for testing in a system that had been so lax athletes didn't have to be quite as conscious of everything in every small amount of every unregulated-by-the-FDA supplement they took over the course of their training.

Slap'em on the wrist, hold the finger steady as you eye down the rest of the room, and let it be a warning with the caveat that penalties will be harsher going forward. Just my thoughts.

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11/26/2018 1:21 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Please articulate this one...

First off, I'm not saying the testing wasn't real, I'm saying supplements such as these fall more in a grey area than EPO. EG - I could order them online right now, or go to a health food store and likely find something with them in it - and buy it without a license or a doctor on US soil. Sorry, but that's not the same as a pharmaceutical.

Second, I'm suggesting doping is very vaguely defined in enduro. The EWS itself has only a few hundred words in the rule book (at the end) on the subject. It mentions WADA zero times. One of the larger series I compete in doesn't even have an anti doping policy. Most don't.

Third, if you want to walk the high moral ground, fine. But you better be the type to not drink coffee or take caffeinated supplements during a race or ride. The type to leave the cold meds behind if you are riding your bike in a sanctioned event. The type to ask the promoter if your inhaler is okay. Point is - you'd better adhere to the "any performance enhancement via a drug is not okay" moral ground...or I'd say you are a hypocrite.

This isn't EPO or anabolic steroids. This stuff wasn't bought in a dark ally somewhere or prescribed by a shady doctor.

I'm not saying this is okay in the future, but I am saying due to loose definitions within the sport and the obscure ingredients they took it shouldn't be looked at the same way as the "real" doping agents.

If we as a society lose the ability to use judgement, and see most of life exists in the grey, we are doomed. In another way, there is a difference between murder 1 and manslaughter, and there ought to be. The second we lose this, we crumble across the board...

jimmypop wrote:

It's real doping, with real benefits. This isn't a recreational drug we're talking about. Further, they took it because they believed it would enhance their performance.

This is embarrassing. Don't try to equivocate or rationalize it.

jeff.brines wrote:

Please explain then, why caffeine is allowed? It has been shown to improve performance and is a drug...

How about a supplement such as magnesium. Again, proven to improve performance, and in this case is a "supplement".

There are hundreds of compounds that could be considered "performance enhancing". Some have been allowed and will continue to be allowed. Some were allowed, now are not allowed. Some were never allowed. Its not as straight forward as you are making it out to be.

Again, you keep arguing why I shouldn't rationalize my take all the while doing very little to rationalize your own take.

Your "logic" cannot be applied universally. You are being an ideologue unless you come from the belief that no substance should ever be taken in the name of performance....in which case an entire world of competitive sports would be a farce in your eyes.

Yeah man, the universe isn't even real bro. Did you know we're all just made of stars? Far out! Nothing matters dude!

Look, the rules and limits are clear. If you're not clear on that, that's on you. These athletes voluntarily participate in a sport governed with rules and a part of that is PED testing. It's nice that they weren't caught with CERA or popped for anabolics, but in this case the testing actually (really!) is binary: They both failed a drug test.

You can call it a grey area, but then when they're sanctioned will they "sort of" race, or not race at all? I'll let you answer that for yourself.

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11/26/2018 1:28 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 1:28 PM

Hilarious all the 'outrage' expressed by some of the people commenting. In their head they're probably picturing Jared and Richie getting out their blood bags at every liaison and shooting up with Super Soldier Serum before the start of every stage.

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11/26/2018 1:39 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 1:44 PM

jimmypop wrote:

Yeah man, the universe isn't even real bro. Did you know we're all just made of stars? Far out! Nothing matters dude!

Look, the rules and limits are clear. If you're not clear on that, that's on you. These athletes voluntarily participate in a sport governed with rules and a part of that is PED testing. It's nice that they weren't caught with CERA or popped for anabolics, but in this case the testing actually (really!) is binary: They both failed a drug test.

You can call it a grey area, but then when they're sanctioned will they "sort of" race, or not race at all? I'll let you answer that for yourself.

Huh? Stars? Nothing matters? How is that at all analogous to me suggesting performance enhancing drugs are more varied in their nature than you are suggesting.

Again, you keep saying the EWS rules are clear. They aren't. http://www.enduroworldseries.com/ews-general/ews-rule-book/#_Toc507585100

Outside of the race in France (which was tested under the French anti-doping policy) there isn't consistent structured PED testing at the EWS carried out to one specific protocol. Its not clear if they'll test in competition? Out of competition? Just the top riders? Random riders? What list is being tested against? How do you submit for a TUE? Where can an athlete learn more?

Its piss poor on the EWS's behalf, but for you to ruin two men's careers on something so loosely defined seems like suggesting a speeding ticket is the same as a high speed chase with the cops. It isn't and shouldn't be treated as so.

Your logic makes use of a lot of assumptions. Those finer details actually matter...

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11/26/2018 1:40 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 1:43 PM

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Also...this seems fitting (though perhaps tasteless)


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11/26/2018 1:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 1:49 PM

Just to wrap up my thoughts here - My $0.02 on how to handle this.

Graves and Rude both need sanctions brought forth. It shouldn't be "career ruining" but it should be a stern "we take this sort of thing seriously" type of thing with some concessions regarding the lack of clarity around doping. Either way, they both should serve a ban from racing for a relatively short period of time. Anything less sends a soft message.

Most importantly, the EWS needs to get their shit together and very closely define their anti doping measures, protocols and process. It should be clear. It should be easy for an athlete to ask a question. (EG I have ADD can I take my medicine? Or I have asthma can I take my inhaler?) There should be a process to all of this with clear consequences to those that do not follow the rules.

Get rid of the messiness. Make it a big deal. Define it clearly. We won't revisit this for a long long time.

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11/26/2018 1:53 PM

Interesting how some people are acting as though if they are not in dark back alleys with needles, blood bags and a dr w/ an Italian last name ... it must not be doping....or at least it requires a different punishment.

Seems to me that the needle and blood bag doping days are over and this is now what doping looks like.

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11/26/2018 2:09 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 2:09 PM

DubC wrote:

Interesting how some people are acting as though if they are not in dark back alleys with needles, blood bags and a dr w/ an Italian last name ... it must not be doping....or at least it requires a different punishment.

Seems to me that the needle and blood bag doping days are over and this is now what doping looks like.

Seems even WADA disagrees with you there. Both of these are listed as specified substances. This is to recognize the possiblity of a substance to enter an athletes body inadvertenly, and therefore allow a tribunal more flexibility when making a sanctioning decision. EG: not all doping is equal.

Am I the only one who sees the world as shades of grey? Lol. If nothing else, this is an interesting thought experiment in judgement.

Some people are far more black and white than others. I've noticed this in other situations like this, most notably the #metoo movement, whereby everyone named was lumped into the same category as Harvey Weinstein. Its interesting. And it scares the shit out of me as the mentality of the mob can be powerful, especially in the "social media public perception is all" times we live in.


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11/26/2018 2:11 PM

Two former team mates who have in the past dominated the discipline get caught doping, hmmmmm didn't see that coming at all!!

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11/26/2018 2:27 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Please explain then, why caffeine is allowed? It has been shown to improve performance and is a drug...

How about a supplement such as magnesium. Again, proven to improve performance, and in this case is a "supplement".

There are hundreds of compounds that could be considered "performance enhancing". Some have been allowed and will continue to be allowed. Some were allowed, now are not allowed. Some were never allowed. Its not as straight forward as you are making it out to be.

Again, you keep arguing why I shouldn't rationalize my take all the while doing very little to rationalize your own take.

Your "logic" cannot be applied universally. You are being an ideologue unless you come from the belief that no substance should ever be taken in the name of performance....in which case an entire world of competitive sports would be a farce in your eyes.

jimmypop wrote:

Yeah man, the universe isn't even real bro. Did you know we're all just made of stars? Far out! Nothing matters dude!

Look, the rules and limits are clear. If you're not clear on that, that's on you. These athletes voluntarily participate in a sport governed with rules and a part of that is PED testing. It's nice that they weren't caught with CERA or popped for anabolics, but in this case the testing actually (really!) is binary: They both failed a drug test.

You can call it a grey area, but then when they're sanctioned will they "sort of" race, or not race at all? I'll let you answer that for yourself.

jeff.brines wrote:

Huh? Stars? Nothing matters? How is that at all analogous to me suggesting performance enhancing drugs are more varied in their nature than you are suggesting.

Again, you keep saying the EWS rules are clear. They aren't. http://www.enduroworldseries.com/ews-general/ews-rule-book/#_Toc507585100

Outside of the race in France (which was tested under the French anti-doping policy) there isn't consistent structured PED testing at the EWS carried out to one specific protocol. Its not clear if they'll test in competition? Out of competition? Just the top riders? Random riders? What list is being tested against? How do you submit for a TUE? Where can an athlete learn more?

Its piss poor on the EWS's behalf, but for you to ruin two men's careers on something so loosely defined seems like suggesting a speeding ticket is the same as a high speed chase with the cops. It isn't and shouldn't be treated as so.

Your logic makes use of a lot of assumptions. Those finer details actually matter...

Is it that ambiguous?
The first two sentences lay it out fairly specifically in my opinion. You can be tested at any time during any National Federation sanctioned EWS event. The specifics of the testing/regulations are those of the local anti-doping authority.

Are there a lot of anti-doping authorities that are using something other than the WADA code? Wouldn't/shouldn't the WADA code be at least everyone's default as to how they will be tested - particularly if you've been in the WADAtesting pool previously? An obligation for a professional to double-check that the anti-doping authority at their events that year don't subscribe to a different or more stringent set of regulations doesn't seem like an overly onerous task when your career is riding on it.

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11/26/2018 2:31 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 2:36 PM

jimmypop wrote:

Yeah man, the universe isn't even real bro. Did you know we're all just made of stars? Far out! Nothing matters dude!

Look, the rules and limits are clear. If you're not clear on that, that's on you. These athletes voluntarily participate in a sport governed with rules and a part of that is PED testing. It's nice that they weren't caught with CERA or popped for anabolics, but in this case the testing actually (really!) is binary: They both failed a drug test.

You can call it a grey area, but then when they're sanctioned will they "sort of" race, or not race at all? I'll let you answer that for yourself.

jeff.brines wrote:

Huh? Stars? Nothing matters? How is that at all analogous to me suggesting performance enhancing drugs are more varied in their nature than you are suggesting.

Again, you keep saying the EWS rules are clear. They aren't. http://www.enduroworldseries.com/ews-general/ews-rule-book/#_Toc507585100

Outside of the race in France (which was tested under the French anti-doping policy) there isn't consistent structured PED testing at the EWS carried out to one specific protocol. Its not clear if they'll test in competition? Out of competition? Just the top riders? Random riders? What list is being tested against? How do you submit for a TUE? Where can an athlete learn more?

Its piss poor on the EWS's behalf, but for you to ruin two men's careers on something so loosely defined seems like suggesting a speeding ticket is the same as a high speed chase with the cops. It isn't and shouldn't be treated as so.

Your logic makes use of a lot of assumptions. Those finer details actually matter...

Haulin wrote:

Is it that ambiguous?
The first two sentences lay it out fairly specifically in my opinion. You can be tested at any time during any National Federation sanctioned EWS event. The specifics of the testing/regulations are those of the local anti-doping authority.

Are there a lot of anti-doping authorities that are using something other than the WADA code? Wouldn't/shouldn't the WADA code be at least everyone's default as to how they will be tested - particularly if you've been in the WADAtesting pool previously? An obligation for a professional to double-check that the anti-doping authority at their events that year don't subscribe to a different or more stringent set of regulations doesn't seem like an overly onerous task when your career is riding on it.

Its not well defined to me. Not for something with "World Series" in the title. If I read that I'd go "Yeah, I'm not taking steroids or EPO...I'm not on any stimulant" and go on my way. It hasn't been explicitly explained to the racers how this works, and to assume a bunch of mountain bike riders, most of whom never competed in an Olympic sport, are going to go check all their supplements or whatever is silly. It won't happen. Sorry but the rule book needs to explain what specific standard they are to adhere to. Where they can find out more information. How they go about getting exception if applicable etc. The EWS is THE enduro sanctioning body. To let them throw their hands up and go "not my problem, go check with your local authority" is ridiculous.

Sorry, but there is zero culture around this in EWS. There needs to be as much talk about this as the other rules, such as course cutting, shuttling illegally, etc etc. (which there is no shortage of "culture" around)

If people think its just Richie and Graves who toed this line than I sure do wish we could have tested the entire field a few times this season.

Via yoannbarelli ---

"... Don't point the finger at these 2 guys, they are not isolated cases trust me!! In 5 years of racing the EWS I've witnessed bunch of things, and they sometimes looked pretty border line to me like at the top of stage 4 in Colombia where there was a reunion of top racers showing what products they were carrying with them on race day.. It basically went from pain killers, to some ziplock bags full of yellow green and white pills and even some powder that one put on his gums saying that it was to make his brain more alert !!"


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11/26/2018 2:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 2:56 PM

Referencing Jeff's comments in his latest post about "It hasn't been explicitly explained to the racers how this works, and to assume a bunch of mountain bike riders, most of whom never competed in an Olympic sport, are going to go check all their supplements or whatever is silly. It won't happen."

I'm pleased that you have such a positive take on this, however, Jared was an Olympian; Richie isn't dumb about this stuff either. Everyone who is in the sport as an athlete is very very aware of this stuff in this day and age, even if the average fan isn't - long gone are the days of superheroes, this is the era of "grey PEDs".

Earlier Jeff, you said, "Outside of the race in France (which was tested under the French anti-doping policy) there isn't consistent structured PED testing at the EWS carried out to one specific protocol. Its not clear if they'll test in competition? Out of competition? Just the top riders? Random riders? What list is being tested against? How do you submit for a TUE? Where can an athlete learn more? "

Very on point, it's a French test and rule - there is speculation in the PB article written this morning that this could mean the results are not taken as the final say.

Furthermore, the comment about a TUE is pretty much the best point made so far. While a lot of rules are being put in place, the information is still not as well circulated as it needs to be - keeping that in mind, a TUE basically allows riders to "dope" within the rules i.e. an inhaler or AHDH meds [as was mentioned about Moto - alllllll of those dudes have TUEs for such meds, and is also what Stewart was handed his 18mo suspension over. It's just a part of the sport, and when he and his team chose to be flippant (or lackadaisical) about filing a TUE, they made an example out of him. ADHD meds are a little dirty secret of that sport]. Basically, there is a level of enhancement that is considered acceptable by the TUE existing - this is true in cycling as well.

Lastly, I think it is worth everyone noting Goldman's Dilemma before casting any further stones. I totally see where JimmyPop is coming from, Andy Bishop would be proud to have someone as impassioned and steadfast about performance enhancement... Andy really really hates cheaters - he once spoke in a class of mine in college, and it was intense.

So while yes, many of us believe that we would never-ever, consider being on the other side of things, factoring in the mentality of someone who wants to win, and only win, as well as livelihoods and reputations.

In the end, it has to come down to clear rules, near-perfect enforcement, and proper education of the athletes and people running the show. With respect to the athletes in this situation, the unregulated supplement industry is a serious quagmire, taking the Phil Giamon route is the only way to be 100% sure now that the sport is changing.

p.s. Richie in his interview said one of the banned substances was found in parts per billion... so it really doesn't sound like a serious dose of anything to me, and very plausibly something unknown/accidental.

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11/26/2018 3:00 PM

I just noticed that, so far, of the 6 EWS riders who are known to have been tested in France, the riders who got an AAF result are not from the EU.

I wonder if the above piece of info is a factor in all of this. Are physios and athletes from the EU that much more careful with supplements?

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11/26/2018 3:20 PM

@jeff.brines I hear you, and overall I think like you that we should remain cautious and measured about all this.

I mean it would be crazy to punish the same way someone being caught while speeding 2 mph above the limit and someone driving recklessly at 200 mph. And yet both people were speeding.

On the other side (and I believe this is what jimmy was saying, although I disagree on the form) if you look at the consequences, Richie won the round while being on forbidden products. So now we will probably never know if those products gave him even a tiny edge that cemented the win or if they did nothing...
Basically if someone shoots someone else, you don't really care about what weapon's caliber he used, the facts being there's a shooter and there's a dead body.

In the end I think we should separate the "crime" (using forbidden products) and the consequences (wrongful win ?), and apply different sentences.

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11/26/2018 3:38 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 3:47 PM

Rems wrote:

@jeff.brines I hear you, and overall I think like you that we should remain cautious and measured about all this.

I mean it would be crazy to punish the same way someone being caught while speeding 2 mph above the limit and someone driving recklessly at 200 mph. And yet both people were speeding.

On the other side (and I believe this is what jimmy was saying, although I disagree on the form) if you look at the consequences, Richie won the round while being on forbidden products. So now we will probably never know if those products gave him even a tiny edge that cemented the win or if they did nothing...
Basically if someone shoots someone else, you don't really care about what weapon's caliber he used, the facts being there's a shooter and there's a dead body.

In the end I think we should separate the "crime" (using forbidden products) and the consequences (wrongful win ?), and apply different sentences.

Good post...and good point in bringing up the fact Richie won that race.

I think one thing I keep failing to articulate is the fact I *do* believe sanctions should be imposed. I just don't think it'd be fair to ruin either one of these guys as a result of something like this - for all the reasons I've pointed out.
So yeah, we should add, "taking that EWS win away from Richie" to the list of things imposed. I know, doesn't mean much now, but it should still be the case as you are right, we can't be sure what it meant.

Also, to Iceman's post - I am fairly certain both these substances weren't on WADA's list when the olympics took place. Maybe he still "knows better", but in a sport where doping control is this bad (he never gets tested - and the doping rules seemingly an afterthought in the rulebook) what reason does he really have to look to make sure he's as up to date as possible on this stuff? As far as we know, he's been taking this stuff since the olympics (if I'm right about them recently being added - I think I am)! I mean, Graves is a smart dude. If he knew it was banned, and knew he wanted to win, and knew there was doping control, he'd also know he was going to get caught....

I know people don't like me saying this but everyone in any sport is looking for an edge. Its pre-programmed into us. Its why rules are important. But to somehow cast some "holier than thou" curtain over these guys means you've either never competed, walk a straighter edge than any human I've ever met in high level competition or a total 100% hypocrite.





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11/26/2018 3:46 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Good post...and good point in bringing up the fact Richie won that race.

I think one thing I keep failing to articulate is the fact I *do* believe sanctions should be imposed. I just don't think it'd be fair to ruin either one of these guys as a result of something like this - for all the reasons I've pointed out.
So yeah, we should add, "taking that EWS win away from Richie" to the list of things imposed. I know, doesn't mean much now, but it should still be the case as you are right, we can't be sure what it meant.

Also, to Iceman's post - I am fairly certain both these substances weren't on WADA's list when the olympics took place. Maybe he still "knows better", but in a sport where doping control is this bad (he never gets tested - and the doping rules seemingly an afterthought in the rulebook) what reason does he really have to look to make sure he's as up to date as possible on this stuff? As far as we know, he's been taking this stuff since the olympics (if I'm right about them recently being added - I think I am)! I mean, Graves is a smart dude. If he knew it was banned, and knew he wanted to win, and knew there was doping control, he'd also know he was going to get caught....

I know people don't like me saying this but everyone in any sport is looking for an edge. Its pre-programmed into us. Its why rules are important. But to somehow cast some "holier than thou" curtain over these guys means you've either never competed, walk a straighter edge than any human I've ever met in high level competition or a total 100% hypocrite.





Of all the nails on this board, you hit a good one right on the head... I have been around for long enough to know better than to stick my hand in the fire for anybody... Some of us apparently haven't seen as much in their time...

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Memory Pilot Sox, Mudguards, Custom Mudguards

11/26/2018 3:49 PM

Face it, these two are getting a pass because of who they are. If it were riders from the EU we'd be laughing it up about those dirty Euros right now.

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11/26/2018 4:02 PM

DubC wrote:

Interesting how some people are acting as though if they are not in dark back alleys with needles, blood bags and a dr w/ an Italian last name ... it must not be doping....or at least it requires a different punishment.

Seems to me that the needle and blood bag doping days are over and this is now what doping looks like.

jeff.brines wrote:

Seems even WADA disagrees with you there. Both of these are listed as specified substances. This is to recognize the possiblity of a substance to enter an athletes body inadvertenly, and therefore allow a tribunal more flexibility when making a sanctioning decision. EG: not all doping is equal.

Am I the only one who sees the world as shades of grey? Lol. If nothing else, this is an interesting thought experiment in judgement.

Some people are far more black and white than others. I've noticed this in other situations like this, most notably the #metoo movement, whereby everyone named was lumped into the same category as Harvey Weinstein. Its interesting. And it scares the shit out of me as the mentality of the mob can be powerful, especially in the "social media public perception is all" times we live in.


I understand your point and do see the middle ground here. My reference to old vs new doping was born from some comments Ive seen in the coverage of this situation and general conversations Ive had with casual cycling and non-cycling friends regarding doping. Casual observers hear "doping in cycling" and envision LA, needles and blood bags. They don't think about TUEs, albuterol inhalers (maybe like the ones their kids use), or the fact that banned substances are found in over the counter stuff. Everyone pops so many pills and has so many wacky dietary situations these days that a little pill boost or drink mix boost is a lot more relatable/justifiable for people than stabbing a needle in your ass to go faster. In that sense, this seems to be the new doping norm. Marginal gains, right?

For athletes who didn't know they were taking banned substances, its got to be one of the worst things ever to go thru. IMO there is a difference between accidental and intentional doping. That said, the difference should be considered during the punishment phase (as is and does happen like you said) because it doesn't change the fact that doping occurred....and people that maybe should have won, didn't. Especially with the lack of testing in EWS, it's theoretically possible these guys could have been taking the stuff long term without really knowing. But, them not knowing wouldn't make me feel much better now if I was a racer who was getting regularly smoked by them.

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11/26/2018 4:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 4:25 PM

@jimmy Who is talking about giving a pass ? We're talking about staying put and measured as long as we don't have all the facts and the sentences from governing bodies.

I can see two opposite points of view in the above (here with a touch of caricature) :
- first the "burn these motherfu****** cheaters in hell with armstrong and all ! "
- second "wait a second, this might be an accident so let's give them benefit of the doubt for now" (or a free pass, cause you know )

Now let's take a look at what we know and how it supports both point of view (while having a bit of fun)

- Positive test: 1 it's a positive test, burn in hell 2 wait it could be a conspiration
- "borderline products" : 1 pro should know better than accidental take, they're cheating 2 well with no testing they must have been laxed and didn't checked the latest rules
- test is "part per billion" : 1 today doping is all about walking the line, don't you see they're pro cheaters 2 see with so little it's clearly accidental
- both riders didn't asked sample B to be tested and came forward : 1 it's agressive PR, they're trying to look good to hide their true color 2 see, there's no reasons to do that unless you truly believe yourself to be innocent

PS: the "part per billion" (ppb) comment doesn't mean shit by itself. If the test is positive above 10 ppb and you're at 50ppb, well you're five time above the threshold... And said threshold should be designed to detect effective level of drugs.

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11/26/2018 6:01 PM

Martin Maes could possibly have the most ews wins in history at the ripe age of 21

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11/26/2018 6:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/26/2018 6:29 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Lot of mixed feelings on this one.

On one hand I've been around competitive cycling, in just about every discipline, for most of my life (20 years?). Doping and cycling have been synonymous since I can remember. Like others in this thread (and on Pinkbike) I also want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but struggle to do so, as I was probably the biggest "lance is clean" guy going...and was made to look a fool. (this happened other times too)

I also find it a bit unnerving and a bummer to see that photo of Graves taking all those "supplements". I put this in quotes because the word supplements can encompass so much. From a simple vitamin to some bath salts like substance.

...and its here I think my inner dialog starts to hee and haw.

On one hand David is right, these are pros getting paid to ride their bikes. They should be aware of what the rules are. They should be aware of what they are putting in their bodies.

On the other hand, everyone is looking for an edge, and where the line between a "clean edge" (good bikes setup, good diet) and a dirty edge (taking a pill that makes you faster) can start to become more and more grey.

I think most of us think of doping as shady back ally type stuff with scandalous doctors with names that remind us of Italian sports cars, needles, and an obvious "choice" toward cheating. EG: the doping rage of the 90s and 2000s was not a "oh, I didn't realize EPO was banned" type of thing. It was cat and mouse style cheating. It was super obvious, and the athletes themselves knew it.

This certainly doesn't seem like that. They genuinely seemed oblivious to the fact they were doing it. Like they were driving down an old highway whereby the speed limit was changed unbeknownst to drivers. Doesn't mean they shouldn't be cited, but it does mean we probably shouldn't burn them alive.

The remaining questions to me include how much this stuff really impacts your performance? How many other substances are like it that we may or may not be taking? Are there supplement companies that are certified WADA compliant?

As much as I want to be hard on them for pushing the limit of nutrition, I can't. I've done the same thing. I've got magnesium pills. I've taken asprin before a run to keep my arm pump down. I've used an inhaler to quell my coughing fits at the end of a stage (I am diagnosed with asthma). I use caffeine to get me through a day. My point is I clearly have no ethical problem using a substance to be better. I just am operating under the motif of "others do it" so I assume its okay. I haven't read a WADA document or paid attention to this stuff.

...so ethically, morally, I'm no better than either one of these athletes. Presuming of course they had no idea what they were taking.

The EWS has a massive testing problem. This race was tested, others aren't, now with the UCI who knows whats what? Cmon. That alone should have resulted in a back room "guys you have to pay more attention" style of citation. Not this public witchhunt. But here I go flip flopping again.

Slap on the wrist. Let it go. EWS - get a plan together. And make it good. Let this serve as a warning to what could happen to the sport if its not regulated and structured properly.








MatadorCE wrote:

Completely agree with you. They did a dress rehearsal of doping control, and now the results are being interpreted in the same vein as Armstrong or Froome as if the EWS has had an established doping control program for years. It's unfair to Graves, Rude, and anyone else who's now under suspicion. If they never tested them before and it's up to the rider to self enforce, then why would you not think more than twice if a sponsor gave you something to try and you felt like it helps you? If they don't want doping, fine--test everyone at every race.

jimmypop wrote:

Wow, that's a terrible take. Beyond terrible, actually.

This was real testing, by a real governing body. Sanctions will come, and they'll be justified.

I tend to see this whole story as you do JimmyPop.

Seems like people, meaning people involved in mtb who genuinely seem to like the athletes under suspicion, are ready to stick their head on the tree and loose sight of the forest. It was a real test, by a real governing body, and as jimmy pop said, they got caught. Sanctions should be given. Simple as that.

If we start questioning the validity of the system based emotional responses, we won't get anywhere. Ever.

But since mtb is a tight knit community, some people seem to want to hold back based on slippery logic. @jeff.brines, much respect, but didn't you get burned with lance? Why withhold different standard for clear cut doping accusations?

Let's call a cat a cat, and even if the story finally gets twisted enough that they get a slap on the wrist, and plead they didn't know, they still pushed a boundary that's grey at best. You play with fire, you might get burned. They got burned. Simple as that. There will be under suspicion for the rest of their career, which really sucks, cause those are two of my favourite riders, and Jared probably my favourite of all time...



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11/26/2018 6:15 PM

I think in a lot of people's minds, as with Froome, Richie will always be a doper from this day forward.

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11/26/2018 6:18 PM

Dave_Camp wrote:

bummer for sure.



davetrumpore wrote:

Also of note is that Higenamine was not added to the WADA list until 2017. That pic from Coral, Chile is from 2016 and at the time would have been fully acceptable... Just an example of how "easy" it can be to be ingesting the wrong things.

It was a new Beta 2. It is no secret that all Beta 2 substances have been banned for a long time.

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11/26/2018 7:58 PM

No dog in this fight, only an observation that seemed to me not really touched on. If I did overlook it, then my apology for suggesting otherwise.

The issue with a test that is intended as a surprise/no prior notification is that there’s no guarantee that it was a 100% secret. Corruption, rules breaking, and other illicit intentions are not solely limited to competitors or their support staff. Assuming that anyone who passed in this situation is pure and innocent is potentially just as much a fallacy as assuming those who tested positive was due to an honest mistake is potentially not factual too. Essentially under the process as it existed for this event it seems to me that there’s not a single person who should not be looked at with the same level of suspicion and scrutiny as the people who supposedly received a failed analysis; from the lowest competitor to the highest official. Or the opposite as well; the same benefit of doubt and understanding can be equally applied to all. However, it seems that the only way this can proceed forward in any positive light has already been discussed; an extremely clear and detailed process that is equally and openly enforced at every event without exception.

Even then there’s no guarantee to the level some people/organization can or will go, technology advances, and so on. Anyone who’s paying attention to this topic in other areas of human physical competition knows that the rabbit hole runs deeper than anyone can ever imagine. It literally makes sports competition events a moot point imo, but that’s a different thread for a different day.

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11/26/2018 9:03 PM

Great discussion so far. Thanks to all for contributing.

J Brines, when I read the rules on the EWS site that you linked, they are clear to me, although I do admit I had to read them a few times. You dodge the test or don’t comply with the testing procedures, you loose. You fail the test they (they being a governing body that EWS has invited in, in this case) administer, you are banned from further competition. If you fail, you can then appeal the ban and EWS will make the call on how they are gonna handle it.

Am I missing something? If so, please elaborate.

In the context of drugs allowed vs not allowed, pretty simple and it took me all of ten seconds to find the answer with a web search. The wada list is front and center, with clear dates and drugs.

Great post from Tfree63 about the pre workout powder chow down culture at the gym in Aus. I don’t think it’s all that different here in the USA. I know a lot of guys eating a lot of expensive stuff that could be anything or nothing at all other than some corn starch, but it is probably far from pure and cheap to make. The supplement business is an amazing cash cow based on mostly anecdotal evidence and very loosely regulated. It’s a free for all. Use at your own risk. It would seem quite obvious that if you might get drug tested you’d be rolling the dice by dabbling in most supplements.

As a pro athlete in a sport where before the 2018 season started there was talk of testing, you pretty much had to know you’d get tested at some point if you were in the podium. So maybe reading the rules and the banned drug list would be a good starting point?

It seems either crazy or extremely foolish to me that someone at the level of JG or RR would be drinking up some powder mix and not knowing what is really in it, especially on race day in a World Series event in a foreign country.

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11/26/2018 9:28 PM

Pinkbike is on this like CNN with Trump.... Headline headline headline

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11/26/2018 11:10 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Lot of mixed feelings on this one.

On one hand I've been around competitive cycling, in just about every discipline, for most of my life (20 years?). Doping and cycling have been synonymous since I can remember. Like others in this thread (and on Pinkbike) I also want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but struggle to do so, as I was probably the biggest "lance is clean" guy going...and was made to look a fool. (this happened other times too)

I also find it a bit unnerving and a bummer to see that photo of Graves taking all those "supplements". I put this in quotes because the word supplements can encompass so much. From a simple vitamin to some bath salts like substance.

...and its here I think my inner dialog starts to hee and haw.

On one hand David is right, these are pros getting paid to ride their bikes. They should be aware of what the rules are. They should be aware of what they are putting in their bodies.

On the other hand, everyone is looking for an edge, and where the line between a "clean edge" (good bikes setup, good diet) and a dirty edge (taking a pill that makes you faster) can start to become more and more grey.

I think most of us think of doping as shady back ally type stuff with scandalous doctors with names that remind us of Italian sports cars, needles, and an obvious "choice" toward cheating. EG: the doping rage of the 90s and 2000s was not a "oh, I didn't realize EPO was banned" type of thing. It was cat and mouse style cheating. It was super obvious, and the athletes themselves knew it.

This certainly doesn't seem like that. They genuinely seemed oblivious to the fact they were doing it. Like they were driving down an old highway whereby the speed limit was changed unbeknownst to drivers. Doesn't mean they shouldn't be cited, but it does mean we probably shouldn't burn them alive.

The remaining questions to me include how much this stuff really impacts your performance? How many other substances are like it that we may or may not be taking? Are there supplement companies that are certified WADA compliant?

As much as I want to be hard on them for pushing the limit of nutrition, I can't. I've done the same thing. I've got magnesium pills. I've taken asprin before a run to keep my arm pump down. I've used an inhaler to quell my coughing fits at the end of a stage (I am diagnosed with asthma). I use caffeine to get me through a day. My point is I clearly have no ethical problem using a substance to be better. I just am operating under the motif of "others do it" so I assume its okay. I haven't read a WADA document or paid attention to this stuff.

...so ethically, morally, I'm no better than either one of these athletes. Presuming of course they had no idea what they were taking.

The EWS has a massive testing problem. This race was tested, others aren't, now with the UCI who knows whats what? Cmon. That alone should have resulted in a back room "guys you have to pay more attention" style of citation. Not this public witchhunt. But here I go flip flopping again.

Slap on the wrist. Let it go. EWS - get a plan together. And make it good. Let this serve as a warning to what could happen to the sport if its not regulated and structured properly.








You lost any thread credibility when you said you were one of the biggest “lance is clean” guys.

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11/27/2018 6:06 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/27/2018 7:35 AM

Well reading all the posts I struggle to grasp where @jeff.brines is being emotional and defends RR and JG. To me (overall) he's just saying "wait until the hearing and let the riders have a chance to defend themselves in front of the institutions"
On the contrary I feel that people asking already for strong punishment or calling them cheaters are the ones getting all worked up and emotional.

So to get things as straight as I can, we only know ONE thing: Graves an Rude both tested positive to Higenamine & Oxilofrine at the Olargues round of EWS 2018.

Anything else is pure speculation. Now we can produce 3 hypothesis:

#1 - They're clean as snow-white and the forbidden products entered their bodies without them knowing it. It could either be a tainted product (like a supplement that shouldn't contain those molecules) or a real conspiracy (aka poisoning).
This seems quite far-fetched and I believe completely impossible to prove with iron-clad proofs.

#2 - They're guilty of negligence, either because they didn't keep themselves up to date on the WADA list, or because they used the wrong powder the wrong day (like training supplement the racing day) or because they drank somebody else "water" without thinking it could contain doping agents, etc
In this case there's no intention of cheating, but there should still be a sentence for the negligence (and not only a slap on the wrist), especially to set an example.

#3 - They're guilty of cheating, they knew very well what they were doing, they played with fire and got burned (to quote @zoro). Now this to me should be punished with no leniency (especially since it's the first case in EWS), the means might be lesser but the intentions are the same as with armstrong (for example).

Again all of this are hypothesis and to me the CURRENT FACTS can't prove one or another. So until the hearing goes by and both athletes can defend themselves, don't be too quick to judge !

On a personal note, #1 is like fairy and unicorns. I hope for #2 as it would keep the "spirit of enduro" safe and should be a useful warning and I fear #3 as it means there's little hope for sports to ever be clean.
To me the issue is that modern doping (so #3) is all about playing with the (legal) boundaries. And so it is very difficult to really know if it's #2 or #3. I don't think we will ever be able to silence our doubt's and for this reason even if #2 can be proved or #3 can't be, I believe an example should be set with a strong enough sentence so that any other riders get extra careful and #2 doesn't ever happen again.

In the end the sad thing is that even if #1 is proved, the stain will stay on the sport's image and both athletes will be tagged for the rest of their career.

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11/27/2018 6:25 AM

Rems wrote:

Well reading all the posts I struggle to grasp where @jeff.brines is being emotional and defends RR and JG. To me (overall) he's just saying "wait until the hearing and let the riders have a chance to defend themselves in front of the institutions"
On the contrary I feel that people asking already for strong punishment or calling them cheaters are the ones getting all worked up and emotional.

So to get things as straight as I can, we only know ONE thing: Graves an Rude both tested positive to Higenamine & Oxilofrine at the Olargues round of EWS 2018.

Anything else is pure speculation. Now we can produce 3 hypothesis:

#1 - They're clean as snow-white and the forbidden products entered their bodies without them knowing it. It could either be a tainted product (like a supplement that shouldn't contain those molecules) or a real conspiracy (aka poisoning).
This seems quite far-fetched and I believe completely impossible to prove with iron-clad proofs.

#2 - They're guilty of negligence, either because they didn't keep themselves up to date on the WADA list, or because they used the wrong powder the wrong day (like training supplement the racing day) or because they drank somebody else "water" without thinking it could contain doping agents, etc
In this case there's no intention of cheating, but there should still be a sentence for the negligence (and not only a slap on the wrist), especially to set an example.

#3 - They're guilty of cheating, they knew very well what they were doing, they played with fire and got burned (to quote @zoro). Now this to me should be punished with no leniency (especially since it's the first case in EWS), the means might be lesser but the intentions are the same as with armstrong (for example).

Again all of this are hypothesis and to me the CURRENT FACTS can't prove one or another. So until the hearing goes by and both athletes can defend themselves, don't be too quick to judge !

On a personal note, #1 is like fairy and unicorns. I hope for #2 as it would keep the "spirit of enduro" safe and should be a useful warning and I fear #3 as it means there's little hope for sports to ever be clean.
To me the issue is that modern doping (so #3) is all about playing with the (legal) boundaries. And so it is very difficult to really know if it's #2 or #3. I don't think we will ever be able to silence our doubt's and for this reason even if #2 can be proved or #3 can't be, I believe an example should be set with a strong enough sentence so that any other riders get extra careful and #2 doesn't ever happen again.

In the end the sad thing is that even if #1 is proved, the stain will stay on the sport's image and both athletes will be tagged for the rest of their career.

Well said and laid out. Especially the part where modern doping is all about pushing the boundaries using the banned substance guidelines, WADA lists, etc... I find that part sad, really sad. But again, as enduro is a sport where you need to be fit and have cardio, it shouldn't come as a surprise. XC had a fair deal of scandals also. Brentjens, Paola Pezzo, etc...

Enduro started as a great promise, a small (re)evolution based on having a good time. C. Ball started a well organized, worldwide, elite series. Things have sadly tumbled quite a bit, and it's now an uber-elite series (even for the amateurs), now invaded by doping. And by all accounts, quoting Barelli, those two are not isolated cases. Also, from what I've gathered, doping is also in the amateur cats. Pathetic.

Between all the course cutting, bag stashing and now, doping, it's hard to take enduro seriously. Maybe the multi-day races are the new "real" enduro?

Let's make slalom the new enduro right??!!!









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