“Why would you do it, if you are just go­ing to cheat?”

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

medal, two pre­vi­ous race re­sults and barred in­def­i­nitely from World Triathlon Cor­po­ra­tion (WTC) com­pe­ti­tion. Last Novem­ber, Triathlon Canada is­sued a two-year ban pre­vent­ing Miller from com­pet­ing in any sanc­tioned race, in­clud­ing Team Canada events out­side the coun­try. The ar­bi­tra­tion tri­bunal of the In­ter­na­tional Triathlon Union (ITU) is re­view­ing Miller’s age-group win at the 2014 Long Dis­tance World Cham­pi­onships in China. Tim Wilson, CEO of Triathlon Canada, echoes the ques­tions thou­sands of triath­letes asked on Slowtwitch.com dis­cus­sion threads and else­where in the months fol­low­ing Miller’s ques­tion­able race re­sults and her ban­ish­ment. “Why would you do it, if you are just go­ing to cheat?” Wilson asked. “It just de­feats the whole pur­pose. It runs con­trary to the ethos of com­pet­ing in triathlon.”

Triathlon re­lies on self-reg­u­la­tion, Wilson says, with the onus on in­di­vid­u­als to fol­low the rules. And yet – ask any age-group triath­lete, and they’ll bris­tle be­fore shar­ing their own story of hav­ing wit­nessed bla­tant cheat­ing: a pelo­ton of cy­clists cruis­ing by, glanc­ing back over their shoul­ders for any sign of ap­proach­ing tech­ni­cal of­fi­cials on the look­out for draft­ing; the triath­lete in his 50s who turns down an of­fer for a testos­terone pre­scrip­tion, only to be told by his doc­tor, “I know lots of ag­ing triath­letes who take it.”

The idea of a baby boomer dab­bling in per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs shocks me, but 20-time world track masters’ cham­pion cy­clist Gérard Louis Robert is bemused by my naiveté.

“It’s a ques­tion of ego, of im­age, to be able to show off to their friends and com­peti­tors who is the strong­est,” says the 67-year-old Mon­trealer, who is in Europe for the sum­mer on the UCI com­pe­ti­tion cir­cuit. “If peo­ple have the means to do it, they’ll do it.”

World-class masters’ com­peti­tors like Robert are tested reg­u­larly for dop­ing, just like the pros. Robert be­lieves WTC, which runs Iron­man, and the ITU should fol­low suit.

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