Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

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Mark E
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Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by Mark E » January 6th, 2019, 10:50 am

There's no doubt that performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are becoming more prevalent in masters competitions of all sorts.

To wit: https://www.velonews.com/2019/01/news/9 ... 9toCmEyscw

I'm curious how many masters here have ever encountered a drug testing at a competition. Is more testing needed, in the eyes of this community?

There's an additional complication with geezer jocks -- many are legitimately taking testosterone boosters, asthma meds and other PEDs under their doctors' supervision. Out of ignorance or indifference they may ignore the rules or fail to get the required exemptions.

Thoughts? Personally, I'd find it reassuring to see some testing at the bigger events. Maybe that's already the case? I haven't seen much discussion of this here.
Last edited by Mark E on January 6th, 2019, 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by hjs » January 6th, 2019, 10:56 am

Funding? Out of competition.

Thinks its undoable, also don,t care that much. If you cheat, you know you did, can never be a good feeling.
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by Citroen » January 6th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Mark E wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 10:50 am
There's an additional complication with geezer jocks -- many are legitimately taking testosterone boosters, asthma meds and other PEDs under their doctors' supervision. Out of ignorance or indifference they may ignore the rules or fail to get the required exemptions.
That cyclist's excuse was contaminated meat (he ate a dodgy beef burger like Alberto Contador). Those sorts of excuse don't wash. He must have known the master's world record was up for grabs so why would he take a risk with possibly contaminated food. The guy was on the sauce and knew it.

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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by Allan Olesen » January 6th, 2019, 1:46 pm

When doping in "casual sports" is discussed, one aspect is always missing:

"Normal people" who use some kind of medications have no idea whether those medications are on a doping list or not.

And in my opinion, neither should they have to care about that, just because they are active in sports at a normal, casual level. That would be the best way to scare people away from doing sports.

It is okay to ban drugs which can't be purchased legally, with or without prescription.

It is also okay to have stricter requirements for top level sports people. If you are competing for a national championship in a high profile sport, you are probably already spending so much time on your training, that you can also spend a little time on investigating if you are allowed to use the medicine you are using.

In my opinion, ergometer rowing is not such a high profile sport. It is mainly something people do for fun, and to get some exercise. If doping police starts doing tests in my rowing club's gym, I think that most members will stay away. Not because they are doped, but because they don't want to worry about their medications.

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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by Carl Watts » January 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm

Personally I think the use of drugs in sport is widespread. If you get a single sport where there is no testing or even little threat of testing then its going to be rampant.

I have mentioned it a few times on this forum but its been brushed off like it never happens. There are results in indoor rowing that are way off the curve in terms of performance. Somehow rowers are a completely different species to Cyclists, they never cheat :lol:

It must really suck at top level competition when your giving it everything and others are cheating. Also, this they must feel guilty of cheating is rubbish, they don't feel guilty, their mindset is not like that, their mindset is do anything to win at the time. They may feel guilty years after competition but thats no consolation for you, who wants a medal 10 years later when you missed that place on the podium.

Aljazeera did a series a while ago called the " The Endless Chase", it was well worth a watch.
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by Cyclist2 » January 6th, 2019, 11:47 pm

Since World Rowing is trying to turn indoor rowing into a legitimate sport, with tightly officiated World Rowing Indoor Championships, as well as national championships, I would guess they would have to do some drug testing, if even as just a show to "prove" they are equal to the more well known sports such as cycling or track and field. The cost for widespread testing, at this stage of the sport, is probably prohibitive, however.

I was at the first WRIC in Virginia last year. I didn't see any set aside areas for drug testing. Was there any? Did anyone get tested there?
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by mdpfirrman » January 7th, 2019, 12:02 pm

I think you also have to look at the techniques in cycling to "get around" testing. Those types of doping take a lot of money and resources. Honestly, aside from a few supplements perhaps, I'm not sure the avid Indoor Rower could afford doing that. I think it's more been about science and understanding the best ways to train as you age, along with tools/equipment that better allows that training.

I would honestly be very surprised if it's rampant or even modestly prevalent.
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by KeithT » January 7th, 2019, 12:31 pm

Interesting topic. As a Masters Athlete and still being newer to ERG competitions (done a few in last couple years) I really never thought much about drug testing as I didn't think Indoor Rowers would be using PEDs, especially the older guys like me. I use to get frustrated when doing some higher-level CrossFit comps when it was obvious some guys were on stuff as you want a fair playing field. In CF though there was a direct correlation to PEDs helping you and there could be prize money - with ERGing I never thought anyone would bother to cheat but as others have posted I guess some people want to win no matter what. I then wonder how broad can you make it - some older guys do get hormone replacement therapy and others use Test Boosters, do they trigger a failed test? Or, I have heard some guys using SARMs which are not illegal (yet) but a supposed PED - do those cause a fail or is it mostly Steroids and EPO stuff? I never use anything but basic supplements (protein/creatine) but I even heard of a "proven" issue where creatine was made in same lab as something else that was considered banned and there was cross-contamination. I guess in the end I still am surprised people would use PEDs for Masters Erging.
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by jackarabit » January 7th, 2019, 1:10 pm

Roid use and hormonal body engineering leave their mark. That’s ‘a league of their own’ which all of us recognize. PE for the weekend warrior is mostly about endurance rather than power production and the obvious stigmata are largely absent. As the pro cycling doc said, orange juice is performance enhancing. It’s a continuum of choices made in the pursuit of competitive advantage. Should those choices be constrained? What and whose interests are served by constraining those choices. Budget and resources for discovery and enforcement are linited. If anything goes, there can be no cheaters. If every advantage is constrained there can be no winners. :?:
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by le grand fromage » January 7th, 2019, 1:51 pm

FWIW At BRIC this year and last (if I remember correctly) there was a statement in the competitor handbook that all competitors could be subject to drug testing but I’m not aware of any actually happening. I do also seem to remember it was reported by ‘two pudding kid’ I think, (sorry TPK if it wasn’t you) on the old uk forum that actual testing took place at a French competition she was at years ago. That’s the only case of testing I’m aware of.
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by le grand fromage » January 7th, 2019, 1:57 pm

Citroen wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 12:29 pm

That cyclist's excuse was contaminated meat (he ate a dodgy beef burger like Alberto Contador). Those sorts of excuse don't wash. He must have known the master's world record was up for grabs so why would he take a risk with possibly contaminated food. The guy was on the sauce and knew it.
I know this subject got flogged to death on the old UK forum Dougie, out of more than casual interest can you remember how would one know there was a risk of possibly contaminated food? Are there certain additives that should be look for on the labelling?
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by Citroen » January 7th, 2019, 2:12 pm

I'd guess if you thought you were in line for a Master's WR you'd take advice, you'd learn all the WADA rules and not leave anything to chance. I don't think Dan Staite ever offered any plausible excuse for his EPO enhanced cycling and rowing performances.

A naïve Google search: https://www.google.com/search?num=100&q=meat+abuse+wada
Turns up https://www.wada-ama.org/en/media/news/ ... ocumentary

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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by Mark E » January 7th, 2019, 2:21 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful replies!

A friend recently made a comment that the main PEDs that effect masters competitions are money for fancy equipment and leisure time for excessive training hours. So there's that ...

Regarding testing and how to finance it, there are some interesting trends, like the grassroots Clean Sports Collective, on the horizon. Would it be worthwhile to self-fund a drugs test (performed by an independent lab) and show up to WIRC with a shirt reading "Clean Athlete" or some such? It would raise some eyebrows.

I guess my attitude is similar to HJS ... cheaters are going to cheat and there's not much point in worrying about it. But I'd be really surprised if PEDs haven't already played a role in erg competitions. It's been documented in many sports, including obscure ones with no fame or fortune on the line.
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by Carl Watts » January 7th, 2019, 3:05 pm

Mark E wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 2:21 pm
It's been documented in many sports, including obscure ones with no fame or fortune on the line.
Well at least you have a handle on it. Thats the other excuse used in indoor rowing for no testing, its an obscure sport with no prize money so why would anyone use drugs to win ? The way most people think and the way a cheat thinks are two different kettles of fish.
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Re: Should there be more drug testing in masters rowing?

Post by le grand fromage » January 7th, 2019, 3:14 pm

Citroen wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 2:12 pm
I'd guess if you thought you were in line for a Master's WR you'd take advice, you'd learn all the WADA rules and not leave anything to chance. I don't think Dan Staite ever offered any plausible excuse for his EPO enhanced cycling and rowing performances.

A naïve Google search: https://www.google.com/search?num=100&q=meat+abuse+wada
Turns up https://www.wada-ama.org/en/media/news/ ... ocumentary
Cheers Dougie, looks like if I eat meat only from the US or Europe and steer (pun intended) clear of Mexican and Chinese food I should be ok :wink:
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