International Community Ridicules USADA for the Banishment of a 90-year-old Cyclist Testing Positive for PEDs
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has had a rough go of things over the past few years, with a number of scandals and anything but positive new stories rocking this once thought to be unassailable organization.
Recently, however, the organization has been under fire for suspending athletes and coaches that arguably should never have had to worry about these kinds of suspensions – particularly with some of them looking more than a little bit vindictive.
The public backlash against this organization, which relies so much on public trust, has been so significant in the wake of one particular story that the Chief Executive Officer for the organization – Travis Tygart – is actually come forward in the press and talked about how they’ve made a grave mistake, and how his heart breaks for the way that his organization went after Carl Grove.
If you’ve been following the world of cycling for any time at all, or are even just a casual fan of sports, the odds are pretty good that you’ve heard the story of Mr. Grove already. This is a man – 90 years old – that has been competing at cycling events for longer than many of his fellow cyclists have been alive, and he is a man of unimpeachable character that has done so much for a sport that has had more than a few PR nightmares in the past.
The reason that Mr. Grove has been injected into the modern mainstream narrative regarding performance-enhancing drugs, however, is the fact that this cyclist has been banned for competition by the USADA after they aggressively targeted him for a performance-enhancing drug and anti-doping protocol.
The only participant in the 90 year to 94-year-old division at the 2018 USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships, the USADA decided to test Mr. Grove two different times in the lead up to competition and during competition – and then once more after he set a world record for his age group at this competition.
Mr. Tygart, the head of the USADA, has come out and stated that it is merely because Mr. Grove set a world record that the USADA decided to test him for performance-enhancing drugs and anabolic steroids. But that doesn’t jive with the fact that they were already testing him beforehand.
On top of that, we are talking about a world record set by a 90-year-old man and the only person participating in that event – the only person that could even attempt to set that record in the first place.
The USADA publicly released a statement that announced Mr. Grove would not be eligible for that world record and that he would also be disqualified from competitive results obtained on or before his positive test, for time period of between 12 months.
The USADA had absolutely no leniency whatsoever when Mr. Grove explained that he had unknowingly ingested the compound Trenbolone after eating a contaminated liver at a dinner party the night before. This flies in the face of reason when you realize that the US ADA themselves mentioned that they found an extremely small – almost trace – amount of Trenbolone in his urine sample.
On top of that, the USADA agreed that the source of his positive test was likely caused by eating contaminated meat the night before competition – and yet they still are moving forward with the erasure of his world record and his banishment from competition for no real reason whatsoever.
For his part, Tygart has been doing a media blitz to explain how disappointed he is in his own organization and to clearly enunciate “how much his heart breaks to see a case like this with Carl”. At the same time, the USADA has not backed down even though Grove has committed to appealing his suspension and the erasure of his world record in 2019.