Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento

Doping Amateurs: Could USATF Follow USA Cycling’s Lead?

November 26, 2016 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners

drugsEarlier today, I found myself in the midst of a mild Facebook debate regarding whether known dopers should be considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Nothin’ you can do about it. Dopers always one step ahead of detection,” I was told.

I am not willing to go along with that line of reasoning, because it pretty much means the end of competitive sports.

Also, the history of state-sponsored doping programs shows that turning a blind eye toward chemical cheating leads to a growing pool of victims: the clean athletes who can’t compete with the doped ones, and the children run through dope-fueled, government-operated sports programs.

I’ve written about this before. (more…)

IOC to Retest Turin and Beijing Samples

November 30, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News

drugsDopers competing in the last couple of Olympics should be sweating a bit (I hope.) as the IOC has announced it will be re-testing urine samples stored from the 2006 winter Olympics using an enhanced detection protocol.

The new testing can detect certain steroids several months after their use. This is a significant improvement over the prior testing protocol, which would fail to detect residues after a few weeks of abstinence.

SI Online reports:

”The IOC is currently retesting some of the samples collected during the Olympic Winter Games in Turin in 2006 and we can confirm that we are using the new long-term metabolites method to detect anabolic steroids,” the IOC said in a statement.


Tyson Gay Fails Doping Test, Withdraws from Worlds

July 15, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Track

Cross another one off the list..

Cross some more off the list.

US sprinter Tyson Gay tested positive for a banned substance and is withdrawing from the World Championships.

His tearful non-apology (“Someone let me down.”) is starting to sound familiar.

More info here.

Meanwhile, Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have each tested positive for banned stimulants.

More on that here.

Athletes Doping: Victimless Crime?

April 30, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News

After GDR's Ilona Slupianek tested positive for anabolic steroids at the European Cup in 1977, the GDR began testing all athletes prior to competition to ensure they would not be caught, (Photo: Deutsches Bundesarchiv)

After GDR’s Ilona Slupianek tested positive for anabolic steroids at the European Cup in 1977, the GDR began testing all athletes prior to competition to ensure they would not be caught, (Photo: Deutsches Bundesarchiv)

The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run finally joined the 20th century and added a rule specifically addressing the use of performance enhancing drugs:

“The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run is committed to keeping ultrarunning a clean, drug-free sport. Use of performance enhancing drugs or blood doping as defined by the USADA is forbidden. The Western States board reserves the right to disqualify a runner based on competent evidence of such use.”


More Doping Stories

April 03, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners

drugsNow that doping controls are a fact of life at the major, big money races, it looks like the new doping strategy is to run a lot of small money races where there are no controls.

ESPN’s Edurance Blog tackles this issue in a story built around Kenyan Jynocel Basweti’s recent sanctioning for doping.

Basweti was not a big name in marathoning, but ESPN reports that he has won 17 mid-market marathons in the US since 2006, with prize money of up to $10,000.

Sadly, as long as there’s even a little money on the table, cheaters will cheat. Hopefully, some lower-cost drug testing will come along soon so we can get back to not worrying about this.


The Confessions of Christian Hesch

October 15, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Road Races, Science

The internet and email was burning up today as the New York Times ran a story about runner Christian Hesch admitting to using performance enhancing drugs.

Then came the Runners World Newswire story that was a considerably more critical and provided a little more background information.

Christian Hesch could best be described as a dominate local runner, living in Southern California, so why is this important to us in Sacramento?

If you’re a competitive racer, even an age-grouper, the odds are good he has cheated you personally. I looked him up in Zinsli’s database and found Hesch has regularly competed in local and regional Pacific Association USATF races.


Doping Round Up

July 08, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science, Track

Maybe it’s because Le Tour is underway or the Summer Olympics are on the horizon, but it seems that the news is filled with stories about doping in sports.

The first that caught my attention was a story about three top-rated Russian runners, including two European champions, who were busted via the biological passport program. These were middle distance runners Yevgeniya Zinurova and Svetlana Klyuka, and marathoner Nailya Yulamanova.

My favorite aspect of the story was that  Nailya Yulamanova had won the gold medal in the European Championship marathon only after the original winner, Zivile Balciunaite of Lithuania, had been stripped of her medal due to a doping violation.

I suppose this means that the original third-place finisher, Anna Incerti of Italy, will now–two years after the fact–be awarded the 2010 European Championship. You need an abacus to keep this straight!


Watch Out Masters Dopers!

November 29, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners

It looks like the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is taking a closer look at masters athletes, having suspended nine already in 2011.

The Associated Press has a story on the USADA’s new focus on masters athletes. As a masters athlete myself, I am personally pleased to see this new scrutiny of my fellow competitors.

Obviously, there are other opinions. Some athletes feel that it doesn’t matter what masters athletes do because there isn’t any money in masters athletics.

All the same, if I’m out there busting my butt in the hunt for an age group placing, I’d like to assume the other guys I’m racing against are all playing from the same rule book.

Since I’m not above naming names, I took a peek at the USADA’s press releases for 2011 and extracted the following list of master track and field athletes who were sanctioned for some doping violation. (more…)

Eppie’s Great Race and Tour de France

July 25, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Parkway Updates, Road Races

Every year, around late June, I begin noticing a special kind of cyclist on the American River Parkway. Their typical equipment is spotlessly new or, as often, coated with a year’s worth of garage dust.

These riders are strangely intense–hitting curves at speeds testing their abilities, their faces in full grimace. Runners, leisurely cyclists, and elderly bird watchers are often shouted off the pavement as these frenzied cyclists whoosh past.

Usually, after several encounters with these strangely intense riders, I slap my head in remembrance. Eppies! Of course.

And probably adding to their intensity is each day’s installment of Le Tour, waiting at home on the DVR.


Reality of Dope Testing

July 05, 2011 By: John Blue Category: General Running News

I’ve written here about the doping controls for masters athletes at the Worlds Masters Athletics Championships, realizing this may be the only time that many of us, as athletes, are faced with the specter of mandatory drug testing.

While this may seem intimidating to us amateurs, the reality of the on-going testing required of many elite athletes is significantly more daunting.

Tom Fordyce, a writer for BBC Sports, agreed to be subject to doping control under the UK Anti-Doping In Sport program. He writes about his experiences in a recent blog post.

Does my privacy feel invaded? You’d think so. My girlfriend is banging on the bathroom door, desperate to use the toilet. I have had my genitals examined at short range by a man I have only just shaken hands with. It is early in the morning, and I would rather be asleep.

It’s an interesting read.


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