Collin Chartier Pro Triathlete banned for EPO, coach Mikal Iden 'in shock crying'

It’s going to get negative attention to everyone involved with your career as well, whether or not it’s deserved. Ironman should be proactively testing everyone he’s trained with and all the athletes associated with his coach.

Seems like the magic of high volume training along with heavy lactate testing just got a little less mysterious.

I have been letting TR reps handle this level of discussion. I will tag @ZackeryWeimer for his attention and leave this to him.

I am mainly doing category setup, merging and other “clerical” forum work these days. I leave the “messy stuff” to the people who actually get paid to be here :stuck_out_tongue:


As long as things remain respectful and within Community Guidelines, we like to keep the discussion open!

Regarding the TR Forum rules, so far, everything has been all good here. :+1:


If people had ANY idea how prevalent and widespread the use of PEDs is or how easy it is to beat antidoping controls, it would blow their minds.

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Okay, don’t think Collin is a forum member so I don’t have to be excellent to him :wink:

Screamingly obvious he’s cheated his way to winning US PTO Open and IM, ripped off the other athletes racing, the fans watching this liar cheat everyone. And obvious he’s not shopping the people who helped him cheat and who will obviously be helping others cheat.

In short, he’s a scoundrel AND a cad.

Well at least I didn’t swear.


That’s correct.

Consider amateur racing. When we had the Tour of South Florida, USADA would typically show up each year. Without fail, over half of the people tested would be positive for some type of PED… Unfortunately that was one of the very few amateur events that had USADA present. I can’t imagine if they attended other events how many people they would pop.

I would gladly pay more for entry fees or specifically attend races that I knew had drug testing. I also propose a life time ban. It’s ridiculous to consider people coming back to the sport after serving a ban.


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I was just talking to a coworker about a local runner who I wonder if he is using something. He’s always been a fast guy (ran in college) and was a FOP at tri’s running races and tries through his 30’s and early 40’s. But suddenly when races started back up post covid he had dropped several minutes on his 10k and is starting running times in his late 40’s that were faster than anything he’s done in 20 years. Also doing several marathon’s a year and keeps pr’ing.

We’ve got a few “Anti-Aging” and “Vitality” clinics in town where you can go and pay $83 each month to get evaluated and treated with testosterone. You just need to be “symptomatic” of low-t which the list as: low libido, mood swings, loss of athletic ability, poor sleep quality, weight gain.


Here’s a thought.

This is not an accusation, just a query.

You’re the coach of an athlete, they make a sudden jump in performance. In this case winning world class events. Would it not be incredibly obvious? We are talking significant changes, in short durations.

We are all familiar with our power curves. If any high level athlete suddenly jumped 5 to 10% in a week. Would alarm bells not ring out? Gains are incredibly slow at this level. A few watts here or there, over many months. I’m very confused how a full time coach could not see this immediately in the data… at least not enough to be concerned.

The technique is relatively well known now. 24hr micro dosing of EPO. As I understand it, it’s almost impossible to detect, as it’s out of the system rapidly. So, dosing near competition can be relatively safe.

I believe it was an out of competition test that caught him. Which makes sense.

Why wouldn’t he also be micro dosing blood infusion as well? Also, nearly impossible to detect currently and incredibly powerful. Much more than most would suspect.

He’s cheated. He should reveal exactly how he did so. His sources, the full details. His career is toast now. He may as well help future generations by providing context.

The claim he only did it after winning… please. That’s almost comical.

Disappointing all round.

Sadly, I agree with others. Endurance sport is not a level playing field. Never has been, never will be.

Power sports are far worse.

Don’t let it stop you enjoying it. Just have realistic expectations.


Interesting. Not so much the fact that he was doping, but the fact that he got caught. Historically triathletes have been about the least tested of all endurance athletes, especially the long course guys who don’t race at the Olympics and may or may not do ITU events. A few guys I know who compete full time in triathlon (I don’t know them well enough to make an assessment as to whether or not they’re clean) claim they’ve been tested between 0-3 times throughout their careers. Granted the sample size is 5, but I’ve always had the impression that triathlon wasn’t nearly as strict about drug testing especially Ironman.

To be honest, I understand this policy from a PR perspective as if you don’t test much to begin with, there’s no reason to suspect people are doping.

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Is this something you could conceivably expect from EPO usage? I honestly don’t know, but assumed that it would be like other PED’s where it’s the increased training stimulus and long term adaptations that lead to the big improvements?

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You are correct. The adaptation would not be nearly that abrupt, but I think his general point that a rapid increase in performance should raise red flags to those close to him ie his coach.

Ultimately it’s super unlikely he acted alone. There were some really easy questions that could have confirmed the timeline and whether or not he did act alone that the podcast linked above completely whiffed on. Ask him about precise dosing, what website he bought it from, who was the manufacturer etc. Either the host is just a terrible investigative journalist or knows asking the obvious questions will make it 100% clear he’s lying and implicate a bunch of other people.

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Not as I understand it, it’s not really like normal training adaptations.

It’s far more immediate. Obviously, depending on dosage and regularity etc. With a win often decided by a single percentage point, a small correctly timed dosage would likely get you there.

Micro blood infusions have an almost immediate effect. I suspect that is one of the protocols athletes in non bio passports sports are using. It’s currently impossible to detect within 24hrs. The performance improvement at tiny blood volumes is staggering. Light years from what you’d imagine.

Enough that when I read the data, I couldn’t imagine an endurance sport that wouldn’t have athletes engaging in it.

I’m unsure if athlete biological passports have the capability to detect this micro dosing. I’m also not sure on how many Ironman athletes are in the bio passport system.

Ironman totaled 773 tests last year, in and out of competition. Is that a lot? Is that enough? No idea. It certainly doesn’t sound like a lot, given the scale of the events globally.

Sadly, I imagine there’s likely many other techniques none of us have even heard of.

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This article has a nice and succinct explanation of how EPO works (I’m not related to the authors of the article):

One of findings is that EPO works in a dose-response fashion, the more and the longer you take it, the more effect it has.
With triathlon being a very demanding sport and athletes being in a constantly fatigued state, it is not unreasonable to see spikes and falls in performances that could be attributable to simply being recovered.
As for Mikal Iden: Mikal is/was Collin’s coach, however they worked completely remotely and only met a few times in person. Mikal could therefore only know what Collin’s doing based on this training data (TrainingPeaks for example) and what Collin told him. It is therefore also not unreasonable to think Mikal genuinely didn’t know.
About allegations in general: accusing someone of doping is a big, career ending accusation, so it should not be thrown around so easily. We can easily get into a spiral by thinking: if Collin was doping, then Mikal Iden as his coach is involved, then Gustav Iden (Mikal’s brother) and Kristian Blummenfelt must also be in it, as well as Lionel Sanders with whom Collin trained, and Rudy von Berg who is also coached by MIkal etc., you get the point.
There is no excuse for doping and I’m glad every time a cheater gets caught. That said, we must have sufficient evidence that one is cheating before accusing anyone.


I really agree with this. For as long as I have followed tri, there wasn’t much doping talk public at the highest level. As @Brennus says, it may have been out there, also at age group level. Still, feels like a loss!

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Cody Beals just posted this:

A pro getting tested a dozen times in 10 years is laughable. Not sure what even the point of testing is at that stage, other than for organizers to claim they test :roll_eyes:

I see no way to enforce this or really much point to it. Instead, he should be legally liable to pay back his recent winnings. That’s something you can put right into a contract. Curious to how PTO will legally handle it once the dust settles.


Of course it would. But the coach has all the incentives to believe it was bcs of the program.

It’s the most exciting thing that happened in the sort in years!

Lol…the infrastructure is only there for show. Triathlon doesn’t have the money to implement a serious ad program.

On the face of it, yes.

But there is more to controlling the risk of cheating than just the blood/urine tests themselves.

I’m sure there will be profiling so that they allocate limited testing resources most effectively. So, for example, an Ironman distance athlete that completes the run leg in x then a few months later in x -20 mins, might move them up the risk profile scale.

So couple of points; doping isn’t solved purely by testing, and doping isn’t the only form of cheating worth cracking down on.

Fully agreed, but an average of one test per year is obviously not sufficient for a professional who has to do multiple races each year. While I’m sure there’s more to it than testing, lack of meaningful amount of testing does not exactly make me feel confident.

One way to enforce it or encourage banned athletes to divulge more information is to extort the winnings.

Add a line in the race registration paperwork that indicates if the rider “Ever” test positive, the winnings are subject to repossession. Hold the winnings over the rider depending on who else they implement and/or what evidence they can provide.

It might also encourage riders to NEVER attempt to dope. I also support lifetime bans regardless of intent.


I’m all for taking back the winning prizes, but I’m not sure that would encourage anyone to divulge more information if they get caught. They’ll be losing their winning prizes, whether they talk or not. The only way out would be legal means where you cut a deal with an athlete if they expose a larger scandal, though I’m not sure how many 90s style doping rings exist these days vs. things being far more independent.