Amateur Doping real problem?

Ran across interesting article about doping in amateur ranks. Some of the races I do are big enough that winners might get tested but most there are no doping control measures at all. However I don’t really think it a problem, perhaps I’m just naive. My sense is amateur racers want to see how good the can become without cheating. What do you think about your race scene?

If someone is in a masters race and cheats to do better, honestly I just feel bad for that guy. Imagine what kind of messed up existence you have to lead to do that.


Article is from 2016


Absolutely real. Mostly steroids but we have nailed a couple guys on more advanced gear.


Unfortunately, it’s very real. Happened with a guy I raced against locally a lot a few seasons ago.

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Very real. Where I live there are a few local doctors, even Ob/Gyns that put testosterone pellets in guys. Hell if I wanted to I could go and get them without a problem. Also, my wife’s uncle was racing bikes in the late 90s / early 2000s and was doping. It was more important for him to win. Now he can’t live on his own due to several strokes whether or not that was caused by the drugs who knows.


A friend of mine used to be a fitness instructor and she wrote her Master’s thesis on doping in fitness studios. Amongst the serious guys (and it is pretty much all guys), in her fitness studio about 25-30 % were on something (I don’t remember the exact number, but it was jaw dropping).

Of course, we are talking about cycling here, so the numbers may be different. But I wouldn’t be surprised if doping is an issue in the competitive categories. The topic was covered on one of the TrainerRoad podcasts where the listener apparently did not even realize what he did was doping. (He was training so hard that his testosterone dropped, and he got testosterone shots from his doctor.)

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I think it’s a problem. How big a problem? Hard to say…

Here’s a link to a contribution I made to a thread on this very topic about a year ago:

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No comment other than nice to see someone else reading The Conversation.

Nerd! :nerd_face::laughing:

Yes it’s a problem. I’ve raced internationally the last few years and there’s been a few guys I’ve raced and who have beaten me that have been caught, or have been associated with unsavourily medical professionals, or someone has hinted to me they’re doing something unsportingly. I don’t know how many dope but at the higher levels among masters I’d say it does happen. I think it’s mostly steroids.

I’m mid fifties now and some guys I’ve raced in the same category have looked so very well buffed that it’s made me think ‘wow so muscular’ then ‘hmmmm’. It’s like they don’t look like they have a typical cyclists build. They’re doing climbing stage races yet outgunning me on the climbs and they’re heavier looking. But that’s how it goes these days unfortunately.

PEDs are so easy to come by.

I think that the fee USAC charges to drug test should be tiered based on age. Flat fee until you hit 35.
At 35 you pay an extra $10. At 40 another $10. . . . all the way up to 65.

At age 80 you get a $10 gift for finishing each race because . . . you’re still alive.


My perspective is that testosterone replacement therapy is a huge issue. It’s very easy for someone to get started on it legally with a physician and it provides significant performance benefits. Individuals using it may feel justified because their testosterone was “low”, yet there remains controversy in the medical community what truly a “low” testosterone level is.


I have to say this is a huge issue for me. While I was never in the position, hypothetically speaking, it’d be a huge problem for me if I ever had had to consider becoming a pro — and I love cycling. It seems clear that you can’t get to the very top without doping, and you end up having to choose between being juiced and successful or honest and further back in the field.

By the way, another story comes to mind. The father of a friend of mine is one of the team doctors of a national ski team. And it seems “everybody” (including my friend) knows that the top national athletes in that team are doping. He told the story how one of them was caught, because this athlete celebrated a win the night before and forgot to “prepare” his urine sample.

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Moreover, we know that physical overexertion can cause low testosterone levels … so one of the things we could do in that case is to train less, and the testosterone levels could normalize by themselves.

Just look at CF as an example…how many of them get popped…quite a few, have you seen those guys. You absolutely cannot get that big and ripped without using something. Quite a few are using SARMS to avoid using AAS to inject.

Yes it is, the Ty Kirth referred to he could have got a TUE and then fought USADA, WADA and Court of Arbitration for the use. If you recall the two other riders that did exactly that.

I do not know about the younger riders, U23’s, but Masters it is a issue, last years Nationals it went around the peloton who was using.

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Would the prize winnings from a Masters race, or even a few of 'em, even begin to cover the cost of a doping regiment?

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I wouldn’t be disheartened. There are cyclists like Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre and Egan Bernal who have won the Tour de France who seem legit to me. They’ve raced against dopers but stuck to their passion and progressed. Enjoy the challenge of racing for yourself even if it’s against unfair competition at times. That’s the approach I take. I also don’t think it’s a more than a very small minority at the pro level.

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No of course not, but as Masters they have the means and funds available to race, train a lot and pay for PEDs. And winning and being able to race competitively as they grow older is more important.

This would assume all Master racers are some sort of white collar executive with cash to burn. If that’s the case, that it’s these types who are doping, it’s an even more weird scenario. They most probably became successful career-wise without cheating yet they have no problem cheating to chase sporting success.

The more Master I become, the less I understand. :confused:


Ha, that’s a good one.

They’ll cheat their competitors, they’ll cheat their vendors, they’ll cheat their employees, they’ll cheat their customers, and they’ll cheat on their wives. Yet they won’t cheat other dudes on bikes?

Nah, there are plenty of high income cheaters out there. Even if it’s a small percentage, it still amounts to a lot of people.