|Why do I know?||3 Words||The Bottom Line|
|Why do I know About Drug Testing?|
Most years I was a Category 1, Pro in 2000, and I have asthma. Many thank yous to Dr. Karlin and his staff at Denver Allergy and Asthma for effectively dealing with the USOC's fuck ups with their ( the USOC's ) inability to manage their records - namely, twice the USOC lost my releases.
The only reason I knew about the missing records was because before 'big' races, I would call the USOC and have someone confirm that my releases were on file. After the second time the USOC fucked up, I drove from my home in Aurora Colorado, to the USOC Medical Control office in Colorado Springs. I talked to the staff about their problem and they showed me the filing cabinet where all releases are kept. At that time it was an unlocked filing cabinet in a well traveled hallway.
I am also a bike racing official. I have twice been the Chief Referee of the United States Pro Criterium National Championship race. In other words, I have been drug tested, and I have also administered drug tests.
As a child my bedroom was a bed, hardwood floor, no curtains. I was told to take up swimming so I would learn how to breathe. So I swam. I swam in High School and College, setting 16 school and pool records. Then I switched to bike racing.
As a cyclist, I moved up to Cat 1, won District Roads twice and set some TT course records. I stopped racing after the 1986 season.
Many years later, after getting my MBA, I moved to Colorado, and then got back into racing in 1995. Again, I moved up to Cat 1.
THE turning point in my life as a racer occurred in a grocery store - in May 1995, reading a magazine. The article was about asthma. I thought 'that sounds like the problem I have with breathing here in Colorado's dry, pollen infested air. After some homework, I decided Denver Allergy and Asthma was the best in the business. The end result was that my available lung capacity went from 20% to 85% in the dry ( it has always been 100% in the rain or very high humidity ).
At first, along with the allergy shots, I was also prescribed inhaled medicine to force my lungs to stay open ( the medicine helped some, but did not make me normal ). But the allergy shots were and are very effective at desensitizing me to tree and grass pollen, mold, dust mites, and everything else that caused the allergic reaction that constricted my lungs. From a Quality Control perspective, the allergy shots have effectively managed the root cause of the problem.
|I will need the allergy shots the rest of my life. But, because of the allergy shots
I also created a warm-up for racing that prevents exercise induced asthma - which I also have because of my lungs hair trigger response to changes in breathing - caused by a lifetime of allergy asthma.
|Prohibited - Restricted - Allowed|
Medicine ( substances ) are normally used to correct a problem with a person. Sometimes a substance can be used by a healthy/normal person to enhance their performance in athletics. Thus the need for drug testing and classifications of what is prohibited, restricted, and allowed.
"Restricted" - Medicine that is prohibited unless a release from the positive is on file before and during the time of the drug test.
"Prohibited" - if it shows up in your test, you are busted, positive and otherwise referred to as dead meat.
"Allowed" - Not either "Prohibited" or "Restricted".
What is Prohibited, Restricted or Allowed varies by sport and by time and YOU are SOLELY responsible for keeping yourself in compliance with what is prohibited, restricted and allowed.
|Be Careful with Supplements!|
The supplement industry is essentially a pharmaceutical industry, with one very important difference: the supplement industry is not regulated. What does not regulated mean? To make a long story short, not regulated means what is on the label may or may not be what is in the product.
The supplements I use do not cause a positive in a drug test because:
|They do comply with the rules, and across all of my drug tests, I have always been negative.|
This level of caution may seem excessive. Many supplement companies 'Spike' their products. This level of caution is necessary and I urge you to do the same.
<< The following process applies to cyclists in the United States of America. If you are outside the USA, then the process is similar, but you must contact - as applicable - the UCI, IOC or the country's National Governing Body, for their requirements. >>
|An overview of the process for|
the USOC's Medical Control Department.
The safest thing to do is call the USOC drug hotline each time you are prescribed medicine. The number is: 800-233-0393. They need to know (1) you are a cyclist and (2) the name of the medicine, and if you are talking to their answering machine: (3) your name and phone number. Then follow these steps,
After the properly completed form is sent to the USOC, then do these 3 things to cover you ass:
(1) keep a copy of the fax confirmation from the doctor's fax machine
(2) call the USOC to confirm that:
a. they received the completed form
b. the form was completed properly
c. the form was and is on file AT THE TIME OF THE TEST
>> they do NOT notify you if there is a problem. It is solely your responsibility to discover the problem - no matter who caused it, when, why or whatever - and get the problem with your paperwork resolved.
(3) from time to time - every few months and especially before big races - call the USOC to make sure your release is still on file and everything is okay.
If you are tested and the release is on file, then you are "released from a positive test" because it is okay for you to be taking that medicine in exactly that dosage ( Note: If you have taken more than the prescribed dosage, then you will not be "released from a positive test" ).
If the release somehow vanishes from your file at the USOC ( which does happen ), and you do not have the original fax confirmation from the doctor's fax machine, then you are positive, the end.
The bottom line: Your properly completed release must be on file prior to and during the test in order for the release to be allowed - no exceptions, no matter what. No matter what happens, you are solely responsible.
|The Bottom Line|
You are solely responsible. If you take the time to understand the fine print of your racing license application and the UCI regulations, they say ( in different words ), that you are guilty until proven innocent. And that the burden of proof lies solely with you.
Your properly completed release must be on file prior to and during the test in order for the release to be allowed - no exceptions, no matter what. No matter what happens, no matter who screwed up, you are solely responsible.