An amateur racer from Woodland Hills, California, has accepted a four-year suspension from competition for an anti-doping rule violation involving his possession, use and/or attempted use of multiple prohibited substances.
The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) began its investigation into Vahe Aivazian, 52, following an anonymous tip-off and later discovered he was taking a number of prohibited substances including testosterone, nandrolone and human growth hormone.
Aivazian's suspension began on April 7, 2021, the date on which he accepted the sanction but his competitive results dating back to June 16, 2010, the date on which he first used prohibited substances, have been stripped, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes. Vahe raced on the the US domestic circuit and has racked up wins and podiums at the Fontana Winter Series, SoCal Enduros and Snow Summit DH Series in his age category.
USADA was initially made aware that Aivazian purchased products containing five different prohibited substances. However, after reviewing additional materials in January and February 2021, they learned that Aivazian possessed, used and/or attempted to use five additional prohibited substances. Although Aivazian initially contested his case through the arbitration process, he later voluntarily signed an acceptance of sanction form the day before the hearing for his case was to begin. The full list of banned substances he was taking is:Testosterone
– a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic AgentsNandrolone
– a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic AgentsDehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
– a Non-Specified Substance in the category of Anabolic AgentsSomatropin (hGH)
– a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and MimeticsIpamorelin
– a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and MimeticsGHRP-6
– a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and MimeticsCJC-1295
– a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and MimeticsIGF-1
– a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and MimeticsHuman chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
– a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and MimeticsAnastrozole
– a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators
USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart, said, "An essential part of an effective anti-doping program is to work closely with athletes, coaches, and others in sport and elsewhere who want clean and fair competition and to thoroughly investigate and act on credible evidence of doping violations. It’s a team effort and we need those who value clean sport to stand up, as this case demonstrates the fight for clean sport is stronger when we work together to protect clean athletes.”
Statement: Vahe Aivazian
In response to the article posted on USADA and Pinkbike my client’s statement is the following;
As the article states; “he elected to sign an acceptance of sanction form the day before the arbitration hearing in his case was to begin.” The information left out is that by US Cycling rules, I had to be in person in Norway for the arbitration. With the current climate of the world Pandemic that was not an option and if I did not show up the guilty determination would stand regardless of signature or not.
The article also states; “The ten substances below, which Aivazian possessed and used and/or attempted to use,” the wording of and/or is utilized in the statement because USADA or US Cycling never provided myself or my lawyer any proof of purchasing these substances or proof of me taking any substances that are outside of my Dr. prescribed medications. I was never blood tested, urine tested or any testing whatsoever. I was assumed guilty and per US Cycling rules assumptions over proof allow for banning of riders. Which intent is very import for every rider to understand that US Cycling when racing under their rules you are admitting guilt of using substances that they prohibit from the moment you sign-up. All they need is just one person to accuse you of any action of usage of substances that fall into these guidelines as stated on the USADA Website;
“If athletes choose to use supplements despite these known risks, USADA has always recommended that athletes use only dietary supplements that have been certified by a third-party program that tests for substances prohibited in sport.
USADA currently recognizes NSF Certified for Sport® as the program best suited for athletes to reduce the risk from supplements.”
So, cyclist going to a health food store or website and searching product that do not meet the above statement are guilty under the regulations of USADA and US Cycling. From my experience of over 20 years of racing can say most of us don’t know what dietary supplements contain and are sold over the counter at any local store or website.
At the end of the day I love mountain bikes and will continue with my passion of bikes and the community it has created for my life. I immigrated to the US 40 years ago, obtained my US citizenship, own my own business, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this sport and support of all the great people that provide local racers the events listed in the article. Without those people none of this exist and USADA and US Cycling have determined with no proof to eradicate a 52 year amateur racer that has done nothing but pour support and money into the local scene to ensure young riders have a place to race. Today USADA and US Cycling showed the world they do not support the local race organizers and frankly, should check every amateur's dietary supplement and do to them what they have done to me. I know that this would be the end of racing at all ages.
Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by email at email@example.com, by phone at 1-877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253) or by mail. More info, here