junior races borderline doping

Apr 1, 2013
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Recently, mainly through social media, there has been an insight into possible junior doping in california. A team sponsored by mri-performance products have been getting attention last few days. Junior athletes (under 18) have been posting pictures of their products on social media sites promoting the products and saying how valuable the products are. At what point do people become suspicious if junior athletes post their huge gratitude of these products on social media? Are we supposed to think that these supplements are aiding them so much that it should be considered doping?

Considering wada and usada do not endorse supplemental use, what is acceptable these days and not be considered doping? Some of these products are not supposed to be used by people under 18 but yet their sponsor gives a bunch of these products to the whole team and the athletes use them and "show off" with these products that leads to the question whether it is safe and legal for people under 18 to use?

Juniors are interesting since at amateur level barely anyone is tested yet their performances are off the charts. Sure hard work is there..but anything else?
 
This link pretty much says it all as it regards the parents: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/d5cf1af14d/baby-casting

There's a coach okay with back-to-back 1000 mile months for Juniors is probably the best place to start doping. Who is watching out for a kid doing TWO 1000 mile months and possibly taking some sketchy supplement?

I've checked out the Strava pages of some Thom Wiesel sponsored Juniors in the recent past and was seeing (IMHO) waaaaay too many hours in the saddle.

You guys can fish around for a story regarding the supplement, but IMHO you are missing the point.

I'd report both to USADA. Even though subjecting a junior to a 1000 mile, much less two in a row, is probably not an offense. We know USA Cycling will do nothing.
 
Aug 10, 2012
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As someone who coaches juniors, I can say what you tell them to do and what they do are not necessarily the same. Regardless, their sponsorship shows as much good judgement as having as say "monster media p/b Absolute vodka."

If you're looking for problematic junior team associations, look no farther than here:

http://www.teamspecializedracing.com/index.php?page=current-members

Someone should call Steve Johnson about this.
 
eporesis said:
As someone who coaches juniors, I can say what you tell them to do and what they do are not necessarily the same. Regardless, their sponsorship shows as much good judgement as having as say "monster media p/b Absolute vodka."
My point being, where are the parent(s) doing their job of ensuring a well-balanced life? Is there ever a "Your kid is doing too many hours." discussion with the parent(s)? That's what I mean by that's how the doping starts. Juniors need someone setting boundaries. If the kid has an experience of no boundaries in athletics, doping is easy. It's the equivalent of doing waaaaayyyyyy too many hours.

eporesis said:
If you're looking for problematic junior team associations, look no farther than here:

http://www.teamspecializedracing.com/index.php?page=current-members

Someone should call Steve Johnson about this.
Hmm.. They'll get right on that like they did the Landis thing....;)

It seems like a good thing to report to USADA if you are concerned. If you report it directly to USADA, then USA Cycling has no influence over the outcome, if there is one. If the suspicions are there, then you should do the right thing and enforce some boundaries. The bottom line specific to my recommendation to contact USADA is what is the point of the game if no one is enforcing the rules?
 
Jun 19, 2009
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socalroadie said:
Recently, mainly through social media, there has been an insight into possible junior doping in california. A team sponsored by mri-performance products have been getting attention last few days. Junior athletes (under 18) have been posting pictures of their products on social media sites promoting the products and saying how valuable the products are. At what point do people become suspicious if junior athletes post their huge gratitude of these products on social media? Are we supposed to think that these supplements are aiding them so much that it should be considered doping?

Considering wada and usada do not endorse supplemental use, what is acceptable these days and not be considered doping? Some of these products are not supposed to be used by people under 18 but yet their sponsor gives a bunch of these products to the whole team and the athletes use them and "show off" with these products that leads to the question whether it is safe and legal for people under 18 to use?

Juniors are interesting since at amateur level barely anyone is tested yet their performances are off the charts. Sure hard work is there..but anything else?
Something posted in Cycling News in 2001 and still true:

US cycling is not immune to the lure of Euro-style influences. It is, like in Europe, not confined to the pro ranks. Having ridden among many of the Americans, Canadians and European transplants who've raced in our region; it is clear that they "improve their genetic potential" when they hit the Continent. I must add that, not having had the opportunity to race on the biggest stage; we should not judge those that assume the level of pain and dedication it takes to race at that level. Every rider makes choices daily that begin to shade their own view of necessity for performance. When you have an extra caffeinated beverage, take questionable vitamin supplements, etc., you as a rider are crossing that line in small increments. Who knows what choice you'd make if you were a big fish in your region and found yourself constantly off the back in the bigger venues. What would you do if your family's financial stability relied on your continued employment?

Having said all of that, the influence of drugs starts at the junior ranks with coaches that recommend steroid inhalers to the younger riders on the basis of "exercise induced asthma". The actual scene witnessed at a major junior race: 6 riders on wind trainers, warming up and sucking on their inhalers prior to the race; their coach proudly looking on at the 14 to 16 year old drug cheats. The influence extends to national level coaches who advise their team members they can "regrettably" only offer some caffeine to them while their Euro counterparts travel with a full time physician. The final scene: pros with a laundry list of allergies and injuries requiring supplementation. Remember: the UCI monitors "levels" of drugs in the systems. It is within the rules to top off your levels and not be considered in violation of the rules. Therein lies the defence of the USPS team. What we really could use is honest disclosure. What are the actual haematocrit levels of the competitors? How does a rider with a early season blood level of 44 attain a level of 48 to 49.9 after two weeks of racing the Tour?

I don't care about the paid professionals making these choices. It also used to be the unspoken regimen that younger pros would not be doped until they reached their potential and amateurs relying on drugs to ride at a top level probably would not get a contract as they'd already reached their performance peak. The danger is now that young riders with no real pro opportunities are destroying their health for the rest of their life. That is what will kill our sport.


While this is somewhat premonitional to current day it was forseeable for all riders coming out of the US program. Parents today that aren't paying attention run the risk of raising the "next Lance".
 
Apr 1, 2013
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DirtyWorks said:
This link pretty much says it all as it regards the parents: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/d5cf1af14d/baby-casting

There's a coach okay with back-to-back 1000 mile months for Juniors is probably the best place to start doping. Who is watching out for a kid doing TWO 1000 mile months and possibly taking some sketchy supplement?

I've checked out the Strava pages of some Thom Wiesel sponsored Juniors in the recent past and was seeing (IMHO) waaaaay too many hours in the saddle.

You guys can fish around for a story regarding the supplement, but IMHO you are missing the point.

I'd report both to USADA. Even though subjecting a junior to a 1000 mile, much less two in a row, is probably not an offense. We know USA Cycling will do nothing.
some coaches will say that 1000 mile back to back months are beneficial to cyclists. Which isnt true but hey the saying of riding more will make you a better cyclist is sometimes exaggerated. 1000 miles just isnt healthy for a junior athlete so I could see how supplements are actually necessary in order to perform again the next day on the bike. It's a shame that coaches push for 1000 mile months

eporesis said:
As someone who coaches juniors, I can say what you tell them to do and what they do are not necessarily the same. Regardless, their sponsorship shows as much good judgement as having as say "monster media p/b Absolute vodka."

If you're looking for problematic junior team associations, look no farther than here:

http://www.teamspecializedracing.com/index.php?page=current-members

Someone should call Steve Johnson about this.
I was not going to mention that team, but yes, that is the most obvious problematic team around. Their results are off the charts. Young 14-17 year olds posting times and results that are very suspicious. I'm sure many people share the same view as you and I, but again nothing is going to be done .. because it's usac. Worst governed sports body in existence.

DirtyWorks said:
My point being, where are the parent(s) doing their job of ensuring a well-balanced life? Is there ever a "Your kid is doing too many hours." discussion with the parent(s)? That's what I mean by that's how the doping starts. Juniors need someone setting boundaries. If the kid has an experience of no boundaries in athletics, doping is easy. It's the equivalent of doing waaaaayyyyyy too many hours.



Hmm.. They'll get right on that like they did the Landis thing....;)

It seems like a good thing to report to USADA if you are concerned. If you report it directly to USADA, then USA Cycling has no influence over the outcome, if there is one. If the suspicions are there, then you should do the right thing and enforce some boundaries. The bottom line specific to my recommendation to contact USADA is what is the point of the game if no one is enforcing the rules?
Thing about parents...why would they allow their children to withdraw from school to pursue amateur cycling. These kids are so young but parents just allow them to withdraw from school. I mean comon, these specialized kids arent even getting high school education. On top of that, their intense training with these supplements create an atmosphere among young athletes who are willing to take these supplements without questioning what they contain or whether they are harmful.

Yeah usac is a shame. They will never get involved in promoting the safety of junior cyclists. While there are junior camps that talk about doping etc, the system that usac currently has set up still allows juniors to cheat.
 
Jul 25, 2011
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A coach emphasizing this much on milage for juniors shouldn't be a coach in the first place, clearly doesn't understand training.

Parent's are to blame primarily, lacking common sense
 
Jun 19, 2009
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wannab said:
A coach emphasizing this much on milage for juniors shouldn't be a coach in the first place, clearly doesn't understand training.

Parent's are to blame primarily, lacking common sense
There are those exceptional quick-maturing kids that, at 17+ yrs old may benefit from added miles. If you want a competitive National level rider they'll need to put in miles with senior riders. The influence that comes from USAC is responding to the need to field Internationally competitive riders on a limited budget and with a small athlete population compared to other US sports. The temptation to take short cuts is there. The checkered "coaching" history bears this out and it is no surprise that almost every pro rider from those programs has been busted for PEDs.
Every parent wants to believe that their genetic gift can, with discipline and lots of training; can be what they never were.
 
Their team and their sponsor instruct them to talk up these products. The products themselves are FDA regulated. They're just over-priced caffeine, proteins and vitamins with a brand image targeted to body-builders. Posting on social media: it's part of the marketing strategy. I agree that forcing juniors you're supposedly "developing" to market your products is ****ty, in fact I think that encouraging juniors or u23 riders to ride bikes instead of building character through volunteering, working real jobs, studying, or joining debate club is rather a disservice. But I don't see how this is even related to doping. By posting in this forum you're intentionally trying to create associations which in reality don't exist. Are you also going to flip out if they instagram a picture of a jamba juice with a protein additive in it?
 
Sep 25, 2010
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this story, and the associated products, might be entirely innocuous, but it's a funny coincidence that one mri's more notable riders is mr ink himself, kayle leogrande.

interesting that wiesel races for the specialized masters team, i know a few of the juniors, i would hate to think that any of them had been shown shortcuts.
 
Aug 9, 2010
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Oldman said:
There are those exceptional quick-maturing kids that, at 17+ yrs old may benefit from added miles. If you want a competitive National level rider they'll need to put in miles with senior riders. The influence that comes from USAC is responding to the need to field Internationally competitive riders on a limited budget and with a small athlete population compared to other US sports. The temptation to take short cuts is there. The checkered "coaching" history bears this out and it is no surprise that almost every pro rider from those programs has been busted for PEDs.
Every parent wants to believe that their genetic gift can, with discipline and lots of training; can be what they never were.
THIS is so true.
I see it in this competitive town on a daily level. :(
 
Dec 27, 2010
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I'm not being funny but 1000 miles a month, even as a junior, is not that much. It's a big load but even I was capable of maintaining that as a junior road racing and there were guys doing a lot more than me (several of whom have gone on to turn pro). Obviously it's very dependent on what that 1000 miles is made up of but sweeping statements like "1000 miles just isnt healthy for a junior athlete" are wide of the mark IMO.
 
Oldman said:
Something posted in Cycling News in 2001 and still true:

US cycling is not immune to the lure of Euro-style influences. It is, like in Europe, not confined to the pro ranks. Having ridden among many of the Americans, Canadians and European transplants who've raced in our region; it is clear that they "improve their genetic potential" when they hit the Continent. ...

Having said all of that, the influence of drugs starts at the junior ranks with coaches ...


While this is somewhat premonitional to current day it was forseeable for all riders coming out of the US program. Parents today that aren't paying attention run the risk of raising the "next Lance".
Great article.

Seems like so long ago, but really wasn't.

At that time, I recall a coach - a former Euro national champ - with plenty of young riders who would openly discuss his own doping as a matter of course: 'When I was racing in Europe I used to get lots of injections. I never asked what they were.'

That coach is still coaching. Yes, the national association knows who the coach is. That coach is not alone.

But, North America can offer better than this now.

Now we have all the ex-Posties as examples of doing what is necessary. Unlike 2001, juniors know that now it is ok to dope as long as you stopped in 2006.

Dave.
 
will10 said:
I'm not being funny but 1000 miles a month, even as a junior, is not that much. It's a big load but even I was capable of maintaining that as a junior road racing and there were guys doing a lot more than me (several of whom have gone on to turn pro). Obviously it's very dependent on what that 1000 miles is made up of but sweeping statements like "1000 miles just isnt healthy for a junior athlete" are wide of the mark IMO.
Yes, the generalization was too sweeping. So, let's narrow it down. My point was, if they are doing race intensity 45min-1 hour 3-4 times a week plus long rides that aren't board-flat totalling a 1000 mile month for a Junior is too much.

How many hours was your 1000 mile month? How much intensity? How old were you? How many months in a row did you sustain 1000 miles? Please be specific.

Dave's post above mine is exactly right and fits pretty well with my point. What's a little doping when no one is enforcing the rules of the sport?
 
proffate said:
...The products themselves are FDA regulated. They're just over-priced caffeine, proteins and vitamins with a brand image targeted to body-builders.
This is not accurate. Most effective supplement formulas contain unregulated, or totally legal but banned by WADA (ex. DHEA) compounds. Now you are doubling the potential harm by feeding it to developing/growing bodies.

proffate said:
By posting in this forum you're intentionally trying to create associations which in reality don't exist.
OP is intimating that Juniors are using and promoting supplements. As an example only, what if the supplement has DHEA in it? Totally legal, but banned by WADA because it works. DHEA isn't the only compound that is perfectly legal and an effective PED.

You are promoting a kinder, gentler version of Chris Carmichael's "it's extract of cortisone" doping. WTF are you people thinking?
It's okay NOW because there aren't any consequences, yet. And then when there ARE consequences, the denial/excuses pour out like a waterfall, or you just disappear. Let's not go back to that, okay?
 
Oct 14, 2012
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There's been plenty of discussion in Cal. cycling circles about the role of teams like Team Specialized Juniors. They position themselves as the pinnacle of junior road racing and recruit (although they say they don't) the kids who are already the stars of their local teams. The kids themselves think they've achieved something if Specialized want them on their team. However these kind of pseudo-pro teams have no real roots and take money (sponsorship and free bikes), focus and talent away from the grass roots real teams who, in many cases, have got these kids interested in cycling in the first place.

I've never got a good answer as to why Team Specialized Juniors exists - it recruits riders from all over the country, it doesn't do anything for grass-roots cycling, and makes many junior races a farce as they win just about everything.

I really don't know what goes on in their camps and how their coaches prepare these 14 and 15 year olds, but when a team has the kind of history it has it makes me concerned. Even if nothing goes on, doping-wise, I totally question Team Specialized Junior's motives.
 
TrackCynic said:
I really don't know what goes on in their camps and how their coaches prepare these 14 and 15 year olds, but when a team has the kind of history it has it makes me concerned. Even if nothing goes on, doping-wise, I totally question Team Specialized Junior's motives.
That's typical Wiesel for you even if there is no doping down to the Juniors. It's not about developing participation. It's about robbing the "winners" from the grassroots enthusiasts. I don't understand how people put up with it inside grassroots competitive cycling.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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I've never got a good answer as to why Team Specialized Juniors exists - it recruits riders from all over the country, it doesn't do anything for grass-roots cycling, and makes many junior races a farce as they win just about everything.

I really don't know what goes on in their camps and how their coaches prepare these 14 and 15 year olds, but when a team has the kind of history it has it makes me concerned. Even if nothing goes on, doping-wise, I totally question Team Specialized Junior's motives.[/QUOTE]

Paying attention to their intent is extremely important. The "team" doesn't need to run a program; just influence the riders to be good enough to stay on their team. Mommy and Daddy have to be asleep at the switch or complicit not to know what happens next.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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I think the insinuations being thrown about in this thread cross the line. It's one thing to spread rumors about a pro, or even an adult. It's quite another to do the same about specific juniors or junior teams without any evidence or based solely upon some guilt by association. (And yes, by mentioning and linking to a specific junior team, were discussing the individual juniors on that team.)

I know a few of the juniors on both teams, as well as their parents. They don't fit the stereotypes that are being thrown about here.

None of this is to say that doping among juniors is not a problem or that is not something that should not be discussed. Nor should the appropriateness of juniors being sponsored by a supplement company be off limits. Likewise for junior "super" teams, USA Cycling's develpment program, etc.

I'm just saying we should be careful about insinuating that easily identifiable juniors are doing this or that.
 

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