Interview: Martin Maes - "I'm Not Guilty... I Just Made a Stupid Mistake"

Jun 27, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Calm collected and confident. Martin Maes shows he will be the one to beat in 2019.


On May 21, Martin Maes got the call from the UCI that every athlete dreads. After the perfect start to the Enduro World Series season, Martin had failed anti-doping tests at the first two rounds of the year and was facing some serious sanctions. The drug turned out to be probenecid, classed by WADA as a masking agent, but a substance Maes claimed had been prescribed to him by a doctor at the NZ Enduro to address a serious infection in his injured leg.

Martin tried to fight his case but although they acknowledge the 'non-intentional' nature of his failed drug test, the authorities wouldn't grant him a retroactive TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption). He was handed a 90 day sentence and stripped of two wins. He's on the ground in Italy at this weekend's EWS though, knowing he can't race but wanting to show his face and address any questions people may have. We had plenty, and here's what Martin had to say.





What happened with the crash itself that led to the injury?


Martin: I clipped my pedal on the first day of the NZ Enduro, which resulted in a cut. It was pouring down that day so I kept racing and I guess it got infected so I got in touch with Dr Jerram after the first day of racing. He cleaned the wound as well as he could, put in three or four stitches that day and gave me a small dose of antibiotics to help fight the infection.

48 hours later, on Sunday, I woke up and I got to a point where I couldn't even walk any more with my leg. The wound was surrounded with a lot of red, it wasn't normal and wasn't getting better.
Martin Maes was digging for the fuel after digging deep on stage two.

I decided to go back to the event and see Dr Jerram again and he was pretty stoked that I went back to him and showed him the infection because it was getting worse by the hour.

bigquotesI couldn't put my leg on the floor and I couldn't feel my leg anymore. It was getting worse and worse and my body temperature was getting higher and higher.

He opened a few stitches, cleaned the infected wound and prescribed me a very high dose of antibiotics combined with probenecid, which was going to help me fight infection. It's a good combination to prescribe with the antibiotics because it helps them go to my blood and it helps my stomach handle the antibiotics as well. It was about 6 or 7 grams of antibiotics a day so it was the highest dose I could possibly have.


What procedures do you normally go through when you're given a prescription to ensure it's not on the WADA prohibited list?


Martin: I've never faced such a situation. Mark Maurissen, my team manager, tried to check on the Wada list that day but there was no signal where we were so we ended up not checking, that was the huge mistake.

bigquotesI don't even remember the next 20 or 30 minutes, I was just lost and gone.

At the same time, we 100% trusted the doctor and when you go to the doctor most of the time you just trust him and you don't check every medicine that is prescribed to you. We obviously did ask and he did tell us that it was all fine. There were two doctors and they guaranteed us there was no issue about it.


Dr. Jerram said it was a potential loss of limb situation and you had to take it for your own safety. Did you realise it was that serious at the time?


Martin: Yeah we realised. We got to the point where I couldn't put my leg on the floor and I couldn't feel my leg anymore. It was getting worse and worse and my body temperature was getting higher and higher and I knew it wasn't going a good way. The doctor had to do something and I was actually happy, he saved my leg and 24 to 36 hours after I could use it again.

Even a little rain on Saturday evening couldn t derail the Maes Train.


So looking back on it is there anything differently you would have done in that 48 hour period?


Martin: Erm no. We did everything.


So when was the time you knew something was up, was it when the test results came back?


Martin: That was May 21, the Sunday after Madeira. This is a situation I never thought I'd face in my life because I train a lot and just do my best on the bike to perform and doping goes against my education so yeah, it was a huge surprise.

I don't even remember the next 20 or 30 minutes, I was just lost and gone. At the time, I didn't know what it was, I didn't think of the probenecid that I had in my body a few days before the first EWS. I didn't think of it, I was just lost and gone. Then my team manager got the same call as me by the UCI and he called me straight up and said, “Martin, you remember, you were on the high dose of antibiotics and then the probenecid." Originally we thought the probenecid was an antibiotic and that's the big mistake.

So was this the first time you've been drug tested in the EWS?


Martin: No, no I've been tested so many times through my career. All the downhill appearances that I did in the past, every time I got a good result as a junior in Fort William, World Champs in Vallnord, Olargues last year in the EWS, Lenzerheide, La Bresse, obviously, so I’ve been tested maybe ten times since I turned professional.


So how did you go about fighting your case?


Martin: We did everything with the support of my manager and all my team have been behind me since the first hours. We took a lawyer as well to help defend our case because it just felt unfair and we wanted to fight the positive test.

Even though the probenecid doesn't have any performance enhancing effects, it's a masking agent, unfortunately they came back to us last Thursday to say they weren't going to change anything. It was heartbreaking, especially after such a long preparation during the winter and such a good start to the season in New Zealand, in Tasmania and going straight back to Madeira and winning again. It was a perfect start to the season and that's what hurts right now. All the effort and energy that I put on my bike, I felt like I was much stronger and smarter and it was going to be a great season, I was sure of it. When you put that much effort in, it's just heartbreaking. It just felt, and it still feels, unfair.

What reasons did the UCI give for not counting it as a TUE?


Martin: We did apply for the retrospective TUE, unfortunately it hasn't been accepted for whatever the reason is.


They wouldn't give you a reason?


Martin: Yes, there is an alternative to probenecid and that's why it got declined but unfortunately Dr Jerram didn't know any other option and that was a very unfortunate thing as well. The UCI recognised the usage of probenecid was purely for medicine reasons and it's very annoying the TUE did not get approved.
Hard work paying off once again for Martin Maes


Did you have the option to go to a Sport’s Tribunal? Why did you choose not to do that?


Martin: I had the choice but we asked the UCI last Thursday when we got the response from them about the three month ban and all the results and they told us it was the smallest option they could offer us. So we accepted it and hoped for the best. GT Factory Racing worked a lot for the statement to make it as clear as possible.

bigquotesI'm not guilty, I didn't do anything wrong, I just made a stupid mistake not to check on the WADA list after the probenecid was prescribed to me.


So what are your plans while you're away from racing?


Martin: Well obviously I'm going to turn my frustration into my training. I will work harder than I've ever done, do everything to come back as strongly as possible. I will be back in Northstar, mid-August, after Whistler, just a week before World Champs in Mont Sainte Anne.

The biggest goal this season now is World Champs. I was so close last year, 0.2 behind Loic and I'm going to spend a bit more time on my downhill bike and try and prepare as best as possible for Mont Sainte Anne.

Foot u and full gas to the line in the pouring rain for Martin Maes.


Why did you decide to go to Italy despite this ruling and knowing you couldn't race?


Martin: Because I have nothing to hide. This is my case and I accept the decision of the UCI and I'm not guilty, I didn't do anything wrong, I just made a stupid mistake not to check on the WADA list after the probenecid was prescribed to me.

There is the chance to speak to media and explain in more detail what happened if they want more information. If anyone has questions, I've got the answers. GT Factory Racing and myself have got nothing to hide, we just want to explain the situation to people and that there were circumstances. Shit happens as they say!


Could more be done to educate riders and prevent the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs?


Martin: I think so yes. I think with my case, people will hear about it and I think next time everyone is going to be a little bit more vigilant about what they put in their body.

We've made a mistake, we didn't check and we should have checked even though we didn't have reception that day. It was a stupid mistake and we’ve got to accept it, put it behind us, move forward and I'm going to get ready for when I can get back racing. I just want to keep racing at the end of the day, that's what I love to do.

Another win for the unstoppable Martin Maes.


Is there anything else you want to say to fans or people who have followed this case today?


Martin: I just really want to thank all the riders that have supported me, both EWS and downhill riders. I've already got so many messages showing their support and that's the best I could hear today and it feels so good that people understand the situation I was in and the situation I am still in. It's extremely frustrating but we move forward. I just want to thank everyone in the sport and I'm super stoked read all the support form them.



Previously:

• Martin Maes Tests Positive for Masking Agent at EWS Rotorua & Tasmania, Receives 90 Day 'Non-Intentional' Suspension

Regions in Article
Canazei


434 Comments

  • + 793
 You didn't make a mistake Martin... The EWS did by getting the UCI involved.
  • + 154
 And without the UCI graves and rude would still be cheating.
  • - 103
flag jrocksdh (Jun 26, 2019 at 14:42) (Below Threshold)
 @onemind123: no,.people would simply be better althetes, heathier.
  • - 56
flag scott-townes (Jun 26, 2019 at 14:55) (Below Threshold)
 The UCI........ more like the TURD UCI! Am I right!?
  • + 132
 The UCI have a lot of issues and it's not just mountain bikers who aren't always fans, just look at track cycling at the moment. But introducing strict anti doping test and rules isn't one of the issues. If we want a clean sport we have to accept that teams will make mistakes and accidents happen. In a few years everyone will have tightening their belts and hopefully anyone cheating will have been weeded out. It sucks for Martin but it's for the greater good.
  • - 26
flag Boondocker390 (Jun 26, 2019 at 15:12) (Below Threshold)
 @onemind123: That must be why they were sweeping the podium every weekend.

Whoooo f*cking cares honestly.
  • - 4
flag colincolin (Jun 26, 2019 at 15:13) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-townes: AMIRITE
  • + 57
 @Boondocker390: The racers care. This is how some of them make a living. If you had your placing robbed because of someone doping, youd be mad. Sure it doesnt affect us. But to them its everything.
  • + 113
 @chillrider199: that's fair but it's not like any of these guys are on some form of wild ass steroids, and in Maes' case it's not even performance enhancing. Rude and Graves basically got busted for taking diet pills that at the end of a weekend racing Enduro probably doesnt make a gnat's ass of a difference. So far all the UCI has done is f*ck up these guys careers, and as far as I can tell has not made the EWS a better place to race.
  • + 25
 @onemind123: Defamatory statement right there.
  • - 1
 @colincolin: LOL SO CORRECT!
  • + 14
 @Boondocker390: Probably riders Who don't dope care.
  • + 11
 @onemind123: douchebag
  • + 7
 @onemind123: You ain't got a clue m8.
  • + 174
 Things pinkbikers dislike
1. UCI
2. Sram
3. Press fit BB
4. enve rims
5. New hub standard
6. Regressive leverage ratios
7. Richie Rude
8. Roadies
9. Too much anti squat

Did I forget anything?
  • + 72
 @BambaClaat:
10: Chainstays that aren't as short as possible
11: Experts- in general
12: Leogang
13: Going full enduro
14: Anything not perfect with the fantasy team
15: Trunnion Mount Shocks
16. Uglyness
17: Discounts & Deals (Under 20% off)
  • + 21
 @JaToledo: @BambaClaat
18. Goggles with halflid helmet
19. Red Bull
  • + 115
 @thebradjohns:
19. E-bikes
  • + 95
 @BambaClaat:
#1. Frames without a water bottle mount.
  • + 29
 @BambaClaat:
20. Frames without water bottle mounts
  • + 9
 Get Maes racing again!
  • + 15
 3 months suspension...as if taking your 2 wins is not enough for UCI....
  • + 4
 @JaToledo: honestly that’s a really comprehensive list
  • + 1
 @Boondocker390: Yeah, I can agree to what you say.
  • + 54
 @BambaClaat: You forgot Scribd
  • + 79
 No they didn’t! The UCI applied the rules fairly here. The UCI is good for cycling when it comes to anti-doping. Maes would’ve very likely gotten a TUE had it been applied for before the AAF. Many years of cyclists and doctors and team staff have made it very clear that enabling a TUE to be issued after an AAF is just a recipe for abuse. Classically what would happen is that an athlete would get an AAF then a compliant doctor would show up and attest (often with forged medical records in hand) that the substances found in the AAF were for therapeutic use. I do not think that was the case here in the slightest, but that is the unfortunate reality of high level sport today: we cannot trust the athletes or the doctors to be honest when it comes to doping.
  • + 1
 What a disappointment. UCI is good for drug testing but what idiocy to deny the TUE that a REAL doctor prescribed! And come on pink bike, what click bait fake remorse title. He didn't know or do anything wrong.
  • + 0
 @BambaClaat: thank you
  • + 5
 @SpecializedFTW: that’s a good point
  • + 30
 @BambaClaat: 21. waki
  • + 7
 @Krzymndyd: LOL!! I don't agree but that you thought of it tickles my funny bone.
  • + 2
 Pure FACT!
  • - 4
flag cyrways (Jun 26, 2019 at 22:29) (Below Threshold)
 @Boondocker390: this, so hard!

For f*cks sake it stimulants, same as caffeine.

Plus no one gives a rats ass if you have inferior genetics, so I don’t get how drugs are so bad comparatively. There is no such thing as a “level” playing field.
  • + 8
 @BambaClaat:
E-bikes
elbow pads
knee-shin pads
29-ers
open mindedness
  • + 5
 Anything that could have been done differently?

1. Keep a list of banned substances in a few formats, printed, Notes on phones, laptops...
2. Race Doctors should be trained (and possess a list of banned substances) on how to treat a simple cut with the right (approved) medications

It all sounds like a pretty lame excuse that there was no cell signal
  • + 2
 @onemind123: Nope the drug test in Olargues was done by AFLD
  • - 7
flag GFGF (Jun 26, 2019 at 23:09) (Below Threshold)
 The bashing on the UCI is getting super old
  • + 8
 @BambaClaat:

Things Pinkbikers dislike:
1. Lists of things pinkbikers dislike where Crankbros is not in No1 position
  • + 0
 @BambaClaat: Carbon frame manufacturers for the ocean fill and Pole for calling them out for that.
  • + 5
 It's really WADA that's the problem here. UCI sign up to a code, have to follow it. Most lenient penalty they could give him otherwise they're breaching their contract with WADA. Whatever, this is a complete joke and I feel so sorry for the guy.
  • + 13
 @SpecializedFTW: spot on.

While they didn't have signal on the day, in hindsight they could have checked in the days after the event if the drugs taken were on the banned list or not. If they had, they would have seen, applied for a retrospective TUE, and it would have been granted.
  • + 3
 @BambaClaat: waki’s whinging
  • + 1
 @Boondocker390:

Agreed x 1000!
  • + 0
 @GeeHad: Well those 5050s almost cost me my ankle (Aron Gwinn style) so I agree with this statement
  • + 9
 My issue isnt so much with UCI. That can be a good thing but I agree this judgement is crap. If your going to have the same standards across the board that means giving the same provisions across the board. Like road sanctioned races i.e. the tour where they have uci approved and or paid medical staff to take care of the athletes!! They have to realize enduro is back country racing! You have to either provide the staff or set up an amended standard. If a non biased VOLUNTEER medical professional said it was need to save the athletes life or limb. It was needed period. Don't punish the athlete for taking care of his body.
  • + 2
 @ThrillPhil46: I came here to say Scribd! hahaha!
  • + 2
 @BambaClaat:

22. Lycra shorts
23. XC guys
24. Tests about bikes over $ 5.000
  • + 4
 @BambaClaat:
25. Dentist/Orthodontist Builds
26. Spengle Wheels
  • + 1
 A rule is a rule lesson learned. OJ was not guilty supposedly , morons, but he made a mistake.
  • + 3
 @SpecializedFTW: Actually because they didnt know and were advised to quite rightly apply for retroactive TUE, in accordance with WADA TUE Jan2019 4.3 . They did and this was denied. They followed to the letter of the document 4.3 (a), 4.3 (b), 4.3 (c), However even with point 4.3 (d) relating to Fairness in granting a retrospective TUE. they were still denied after providing ALL the could and complying.

Typical though of documents of this nature that they also state in relation to final point that if they don't award one retroTUE , you have NO right of appeal..... sort of like in football codes when a player wants to fight a tribunal citation... they the organisation want to eat their cake and smear it over your face on the way out.......
  • + 3
 @BambaClaat: wakidesign
  • + 1
 @endurogan: you beat me to it
  • + 1
 82940272: Evil bikes@BambaClaat:
  • + 6
 @BambaClaat:
27: 29" wheels
28: 27.5" wheels
29: fat bikes
30: plus bikes
31: expensive bikes
32: cheap bikes
  • + 1
 @Dalday: 33: Affordable bikes AKA mid priced bikes.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: I don’t mind him at all. But pinkbike users do
  • + 1
 34 : Pinkbike comments section @vinay:
  • + 5
 @BambaClaat: Brian Lopes???
  • + 2
 I'm going to take soo many roids at the next race I'll run the track carrying 2 bikes.
  • + 3
 @Boondocker390: You must have never done a Google scholar search for the effect of beta agonists on performance. They are VERY effective at improving endurance, strength, and power. They are basically miracle PEDs.
  • + 2
 @xphysnerd: they make you feel pretty rad also
  • + 0
 @onemind123: really dude? Screw the UCI- they are worthless- mtb should have its own governing body,
  • + 2
 @SpecializedFTW: Correct. There is a process and as a UCI vetted event this process has to be followed. The organizer(s) of the EWS should be making all entrants apprised of the what, when where and why. The TUE should have been applied for within hours of the treatment. Failure to follow the rules is well, what Maes is dealing with.
  • + 4
 @jorgeposada: True, but enforcing a rule for the sake of the rule is pointless, the idea is to have a governing body that can decide when it is nesscary or not. Rules are in place for the benefit of the people they apply to, i.e providing a level playing field & singling out the real drug cheats, not to screw over someone who looks like they are doing the right thing. Wood for the trees..
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: if you start making exceptions then the rules get abused. If the rules aren't enforced then it's a crap shoot and thays not fair on everyone else. The UCI have handed down the shortest ban they can and have been as fair as they can be.
  • + 0
 @JaToledo: No, long chainstays are cool now.
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: I agree and we all knew bringing UCI in was going to change endure racing for better or worse.
  • + 0
 @flopper: actually not true read the documents in relation to TUE and retroTUE ,,, Maes and the team followed exactly what they were told to do and still denied !!!!!!!!
  • + 0
 @BambaClaat: 28.99 and superboost?
  • + 0
 @me2menow:

No, I believe it's chainstays that vary with size that are cool now, not long chainstays.f*ck stability, tire clearance and roomier rear ends that are easier to clean. I won't be stoked until my rearwheel axle sits between my ankles, my fork is so slack it's suspension comes from flexing and my seat tube angle is more than 90 degrees.
  • + 1
 @JaToledo: oh true
  • + 0
 @kingtut87: maybe that approach is needed in road cycling, but mtb hasnt proven itself to have major peoblems with doping
  • + 4
 I‘m a road cycling fan. It’s funny to hear exactly the same excuses from Enduro racers now, that we’ve been hearing from roadies for 20 years.
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: it was a lack of testing and a willing to trust doctors that helped get road cycling into mess it was in. We don't want that in mountain biking.

It's also impossible to hold enduro up as a bastion of clean competition as this is the first year that there's been any sort of regular anti doping controls.
  • + 1
 @onelivinlarge: Great point, sir. Well said, too. Nice job.
  • + 0
 @B650wagon: lame? What an ass you are. Ever been to the jungle mister wiseguy?
  • - 2
 I would have no problem knowing how to properly (and approved) treat a cut. If I needed a reminder, I would check my list of banned substances that I had on me. I would not need cell service to call and check, that's a lame excuse!
  • + 1
 @B650wagon: Dude, between start times, in the jungle, a list that changes every year, with a volunteer doctor, who knows the medication doesn't enhance performance, with a rapidly spreading infection, which was later proven to the UCI, then argued as non-intentional, which they accepted AS TRUE.

To think that you, thousands of miles away, neither doctor nor racer nor UCI official, would know better, is laughable.
  • + 3
 Probenecid is not performance enhancing itself but could be used to hide other ped’s. There are other (approved) drugs that could have been used instead of Probenecid, that’s why UCI rejected the the TUE. Also, they waited way too long to apply for the TUE, hummm, why? If you like the excuses, good for you. Obviously the UCI and WADA did the right thing. Rules are rules, follow them or suffer the consequences.
  • - 3
 @B650wagon: Dude, at a race between stages on a multi day race, with that infection, theres no time to get alternatives, there's not even signal, no available physical copy of the list either, applied for the TUE as soon as they were informed that he was positive for it... even your sacred UCI aknowledged it was unintentional, yet gave a sanction because that's what the rules say. It;s not a lame excuse, it's the truth and even governing bodies know that, that's why he got the minimum sanction.

Stop calling it a lame excuse, it's so far from the truth, and it has very little to do with being sanctioned or not.
  • - 2
 @B650wagon: "Rules are rules, follow them or suffer the consequences", you must be mad. Nazi officials must have said this when they were rounding up civilians who were hiding and protecting jewish civilans.
All rules should be questioned. Thats why people can take cases the the supreme court, look at the Texas vs Johnson case, he questioned the texan decision of his case regarding their law and that of the constitution and went to the supreme court and won.

"Rules are rules, follow them or suffer the consequences" - hate this phrase
  • + 3
 @mrmm8900: Sports don‘t work without rules. You can question them - but that‘s a difference to breaking them. If we let Godwin aside and stick to Enduro, you could, for example, question some of the track layouts. But if you just start cutting every corner, you will be rightly disqualified.
  • + 154
 NOT a stupid mistake, it was a smart choice given the circumstances. The UCI is the one making the mistake here.
  • + 7
 this. no reception signal or save your leg? yet another forced to eat rotting WADAburger.
  • + 29
 It's clearly a stupid mistake considering that he or his manager could have driven to get reception. It was a super JV move on the part of his manager for not taking this precaution. He didn't even check after the fact either. Instead, he let Martin go race in the EWS and pop positive for the substance. I don't see how that isn't a huge mistake on multiple levels.
  • + 0
 Word.
  • + 3
 @53119: the sad thing is, is that when another racer is in the same position as he was with the bad infection they may forgo medication due to fears of being fined, loss of points and suspension.
  • + 3
 @brncr6: true. @fryrye - it looks to have been a time sensitive issue. no matter. the doping agents themselves are constantly contradicting their own enforcement laws with the olympics so at the very least it would seem maes in this situation should have been granted reconsideration.
  • + 2
 Smart choice?

Not by Maes' team manager as he never bothered to check the WADA prohibited list (or print it off beforehand) at any point AND especially for the doctor who works with these athletes all the time (I assume) and he's not aware of the alternative to probenecid?

Rookie moves all around...
  • + 14
 @Heydre: If you read the article, you see that both martin and the team manager thought the probenecid was an antibiotic.
If you know nothing about medicine, and a doctor tells you "you could lose your leg, I give you antibiotics and this and this" you would be thinking " fck fck fck give me anything to save my leg"
I doubt any of the team managers and doctors knows the list by heart, particularly when it comes to masking agents.

The only mistake was not to check afterwards (when he had reception).
  • + 0
 All That Mattered... Means almost NOTHING now.. Bad Timing UCI & EWS!!! SHAME.. This season is like any great Season with referees getting in the way of Modern Day Sports Teams, the season DIED! It’s now all about who will be the winner of (Second Place)
  • + 1
 No broad spectrum IV antibiotics in NZ?
  • + 5
 @zede: That is probably true, but is still a huge failure on the part of the team. If you compete at a world class level you need to be aware of prohibited substances and not blindly trust a volunteer doctor who is not used to treating world class athletes.
  • + 13
 @Ttimer: Agree with the team failure. The doctor is only at fault to the extent that he assured the team it was not banned. But is that his job? In the end the doc has only one job an that is to provide medical assistance to those in need, and it sounds like he did what was needed.

The comments of "what should he do, lose his leg?" I'm reading here are a bit beyond the point. Obviously Maes should have taken the drug / masking agent to save his leg. But then after they got back in cell phone range, they should have checked on the banned substance list and simply decided to not race EWS (or ask for the TUE - and then race)!

It would have prevented the fine he received and loss of points during upcoming races! Understand the frustration on Maes' part but this could have been prevented (even with the drug in his body). Ergo, team failure.
  • + 4
 @mi-bike: Fully agree. Cant fault the doctor at all if he (correctly) assured them that the drug was not performance enhancing.

It is not required for volunteers at regional races to know about masking agents in doping. That is specialized knowledge which most GPs, ER docs or similar wouldn't have, since it is only relevant for world class athletes and teams.
  • + 4
 I think the mistake was not looking into it once they got back to reception and then applying for a TUE right away before he raced again. I suspect if that were the situation they would have granted the exemption. That was really the only other thing though that could have been done in the situation from what I've read
  • + 106
 Funny how there were some that said the UCI would give the sport some validity, etc. So far, we've had two young, top stars get effectively falsely accused of cheating and losing out on a year of race results. UCI, you have done nothing to improve this sport. In fact, after the whole Froome debacle, I'm not sure anyone can believe you're a governing body. You're a corrupt money machine.
  • + 10
 Can anyone give some more insight on the Froome debacle? An article or something?
  • + 4
 @Tannus: Yeah, I'd like to know more too.
  • - 5
flag PauRexs (Jun 26, 2019 at 15:23) (Below Threshold)
 In a short time UCI is trying to literally decapitate the "spirit of enduro" we all well earned without their "help". Do I am the only one may see conspiration here ??...
  • + 15
 @theging: let me Google that for you
  • + 2
 @allmtnrider98: You're the man. Thanks!
  • + 1
 If the UCI really wanted to provide value for money to us racers they wouldn't be based in Switzerland.
  • + 2
 @Tannus: WADA dropped the case because Team Sky have a bigger budget than them
  • + 5
 @Tannus: Here's the cliff notes version... Froome claims to have exercise induced asthma. He takes an inhaler under TUE exemption. He took WAAAAYYYY too much during a race one day, got tested, and popped for levels too high of that inhaled stimulant. Deep pockets and a high profile enabled him to fight the case and claimed that humans all process stimulants differently and that the particular circumstances and rigors of a grand tour make your body process said stimulants in different manners... lots of legal and doctor speak got him off the hook, when he likely took waaaaaayyyy too many puffs of a banned substance and claimed that his body simply processed it wrong showing the positive test...
  • + 4
 @tbell1979: what he probably did is a nebulizer before the race, knowing he has done this beforr and the sabutamol clears in a few hours. In thus case it didn’t. Sabutamol in large doses has anabolic effects so would have given him an extra boost mentally at least on race day.
  • + 1
 So how is Froome's case any different to Maes, Graves and Rude? We don't know any of them, nor any circumstances beyond what we read in the media, but it's the UCI's fault with the enduro riders, right? And offcourse big bad, stinkingly rich roadie Froome is the bad guy around which consipiracy theorists are fully allowed to connect all dots imaginable, right? Froome's case actually IS different, because it's not a prohibited, but a controlled substance. Look up the difference in how it's tested and handled if you like. The enduro riders objectively are at the worse end of the substances spectrum, compared to Froome. Nice, huh?
I am sorry Martin, I love you as a rider, but you are guilty of not following the rules. I'd agree he's not guilty of willfully doping himself, but hey... we've heard that one before too and those same rules should make no distinction. We should not let anyone off the hook, because they have an excuse that seems plausible.
  • + 103
 Opinions are like a*sholes, everyone has one. I'm a board-certified Emergency Medicine Doctor, so let's just stick to what makes sense medically, as well as what does not seem to add up.

Before we get to the medical part, let's look at the duck test, as this is often taught in medical school in the effort to teach the student to keep the most likely diagnoses at the top of the list. It goes like this, "if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck." One can easily extrapolate this to, "if it looks like bullshit, smells like bullshit and sounds like bullshit, it's probably bullshit." This is the first thing that comes to my mind after I read yet another positive doping test in cycling (or any endurance sport). Yup, I'm looking at you Richie.

Now for Mr. Maes. The biggest problem with the 'story' is that medically speaking it doesn't add up. If I see someone in the ER with a laceration that I'm concerned about enough to start them on a prophylactic (preventative) antibiotic, and then they come back with a "serious, limb threatening infection", the treatment indicated at that point would NEVER be to just add probenecid in an attempt to raise the serum concentration of that same antibiotic. A FIRST YEAR EMERGENCY MEDICINE INTERN would know that the correct treatment would ALWAYS be to expand antibiotic coverage because at that point you must conclude that the responsible bacteria may not be sensitive to the initial antibiotic. The main culprit here being a form of staph known as MRSA. Flucoxacillin does NOT cover MRSA and any ER doctor (hell any medical student) knows this. The correct action at that time is ALWAYS to either add an additional antibiotic that covers MRSA or stop the initial antibiotic and switch to a broad spectrum antibiotic (a bigger gun) that does cover it. This is not subjective and this is not opinion, it's basic medical knowledge.
There are other smaller medical parts as well that don't add up (we don't put sutures in wounds that are "grossly contaminated"), but the first main point above regarding the antibiotics is enough to know that the duck test, although being a simple concept, is highly accurate once again.
  • + 7
 Go on
  • + 20
 Hopefully Pinkbike reads your comment and does an article asking doctors what they think of what happened.
  • + 33
 The implication of what you are saying also fails the duck test, otherwise known simply as common sense.

Do you really think three Kiwi doctors (the Doc's statement also mentions others by name) are going to risk their reputations/livelihood to concoct a detailed, but flawed, story in cahoots with a random athlete to cover up some elaborate doping scheme?
  • + 6
 100% Agreed! A progressing cellulitis is treated with broad spectrum IV antibiotics. Believe me; if this story were true; a pro athlete would have been admitted to a hospital, infection cultured, and treated. This story is a smoke screen. Sad to see Doping is so prolific in all forms of sports.
  • + 1
 Thank you!
  • + 11
 Maes won a race with such infection in his leg, right? Lots of ducks around
  • + 5
 This here.

And why didn't they go to emergency department or check if it was on the WADA list when he was at the pharmacy?
  • + 3
 @BigAlfonz: it would not be a big surprise if
1- some MD are lying to cover up something
2- Selection and formation of Med student is not the same everywhere

As for the 2), I can say that here, at the medical university of Innsbruck, the MUI Personal that examine the medical students during the "praktikum" are told not to fail students to respect the quotas.
  • + 9
 Couldn’t imagine someone racing with such a life or limb infection. Someone with cellulitis in the lower leg are most likely non-weight bearing. Add in the serious infection they are talking about I would assume hospital admission.
  • + 1
 Nice. An actual expert in their field.
  • + 7
 The worst part is all this happened right after he went from a decent competitor to being nearly unbeatable in multiple disciplines. Maes just has the worst luck!
  • + 0
 opinion comin outta my hole is at the end of the day the medical portion of the situation is always irrelevant in that high level competition of any sport or sort is only about money. it is all to move one’s brand forward. it’s quite romantic to want to believe in both sides though.
  • + 18
 Hugely underrated comment.

I can’t imagine a limb threatening infection that doesn’t get a debridement and an IV drip, or at the very least an antibiotic injection - which doesn’t need probenecid to boost effectiveness. These things are true even in NZ. Not to mention that probenecid is a mask for anabolics that has a very short half-life - making failing back to back drug tests from a single dose pretty unlikely. There is a reason it is a banned substance.

Everyone seems to be giving MM a pass while hanging RR on the cross...As much as I like both men and want to root for their innocence, I think both stories stretch believability to an equal extent.
  • + 10
 I agree with your assessment of the situation, but you are ignoring a few things that support Maes and the prescribing doctor. This was not a text book case and there are viable reasons why text book approach wasn't taken.

Firstly you aren't familiar with the local infection tendencies and that can have a huge impact on prescribing. This doctor probably didn't even consider MRSA and I wouldn't have either. There is no reason to suspect Maes came into contact with MRSA. Usually, these types of infections are very predictable in that they are almost always the same bacteria depending on where it happened. If I see a patient with a dog bite, I don't give broad spectrum antibiotics. I target the usual suspect. Prescribing pip-tazo and vancomycin in this situation would honestly be silly.

Secondly, I believe the doctor said the infection was potentially life or limb threatening if left untreated. That would not warrant admission to a hospital. This is an infection that developed under the most ideal circumstances. A prophylactic course of antibiotics failing is not overly surprising considering the exposure the wound experienced. Also Maes is young, fit, and healthy. An obese diabetic with that wound might warrant admission, not a fit athlete in his prime who is also moving to the next event soon.

I think this doctor made a very reasonable decision with the best interest of his patient (maes) in mind. His treatment resolved the infection, minimized disruption to his daily life (other than the eventual ban), and was fiscally responsible.

The only flaw in the process was failing to confirm the banned status of probenecid. Any athlete who gets drug tested should be confirming every drug they take and I mean every drug. I'd have checked the antibiotic, the probenecid, and the ondansetron. For that reason, I think the 90 day ban is a reasonable punishment. I would have ruled differently, taking the situation into account if given the choice, but overall I feel the ruling us fair.
  • + 4
 @BigAlfonz: I do. Look at the history of doping in road racing. Doctors can make a great 'bonus' from athletes who are looking for an edge. Winning equals money. Once it becomes known that certain doctors will help you, they become more popular. Look at Armstrong and the reputation of the doctors that he saw to help develop his regime.
  • - 1
 Quite a conspiracy.

As a fellow doctor should you not be reporting the doctors who treated him to their professional bodies? if what you say is right they're guilty of serious malpractice by lying to cover doping scandal.
  • - 3
 @jmhills: except he wasnt a team doctor. He was employed by EWS.
  • + 1
 well, the event organisers (as it wasnt ews)
  • + 3
 @KiopHuitre: You bring up a valid point that the providers purported clinical decision making is not wholly wrong. To say that doctors commonly deviate from accepted clinical practice guidelines would be an understatement. So, despite the doctors timeline and treatment decisions seeming suspect those essentially cannot be fully discounted by @slocyclist clinical assessment.

However, that still does not explain how he tested positive still at Derby if he had been off probenocid for 14 days, and as others have eluded it would have been quite an amazing feat to go from being unable to walk to 10 days later dominating EWS.

Putting all of these related pieces of information together, I cannot believe this is anything other than smoke and mirrors. It would be really fantastic if Pinkbike would do some actual reporting on this and address these inconsistencies instead of regurgitating press releases from GT, UCI, and publishing puff piece interviews with the accused.
  • + 6
 @renrut: He was not employed by the EWS, this happened at a non EWS race before the season started.
  • + 3
 @ppp9911: I agree, The fact that he still tested positive 14 days after finishing treatment is suspect. I wasn't aware of that when I wrote my initial reply. Maybe probenecid can be detected at near trace levels, but I don't have that information. It would seem we're missing some information and those details could be what changes this from innocent error to something more nefarious.

The not being able to walk thing doesn't stand out as odd to me though. His inability to walk would have been due to the pain from inflammation at the wound site. That resolves quickly when the infection begins to clear.

I think, regardless of what happened, Maes is in charge of adhering to the doping policy as it is written. He failed to do so.
  • + 2
 @KiopHuitre: can I just say- I love how bikes bring people from all walks of life together- in these comments we have MD's, JD's, Dentist, Welders, Industry People, Burger Flippers, Custodians, Musicians, Artists, Business Pros...the list goes on and on- but we all have bikes in common. Bikes are awesome! And yet...the UCI kind of sucks- I've actually had to deal with them on an event side for planning races- they are given way too much authority over the sport- and-most of them don't even ride. It's mind-blowing.
  • + 0
 @KiopHuitre: And thus, Maes received a very light sentence. Guaranteed if it happens again, he will never race at elite level again.
  • + 3
 @renrut:
I've known the known the prescribing Doctor for years, I went to school with him. The guy is integrity personified. Quit talking shit on the internet on stuff you know nothing about. Knowing Tom, he was probably volunteering for the event, Why? Because he loves mountain biking.
If I was in a serious emergency I couldn't think of anyone better to be helping me out than Tom.
  • + 33
 I want to believe this was just a mistake. Martin certainly would have had high amounts at rotorua that would have been detected and should be therapeutic (since he only would have stopped taking them 4 days before).

14 Days later at Derby though? The concentration in his blood sample had be less than 0.000000000003mg (based on excretion and drug half-life at reported dosage). So either UCI do not even care about the level in the bloodstream (ie any at all and you are banned=stupid) or Martin was taking Probenecid significantly longer than March 17, which would be suspicious.

Would be really nice for UCI to discuss this.....
  • + 0
 Derby was 7 days after Rotorua
  • + 15
 @FlorianTHT: if you read the timeline by his doctor he was prescribed a 7 day course starting on 3/10. That means his last day on the meds was supposed to be 3/17 ie 14 days before Derby
  • + 19
 Half life of probenecid is 12 hours on the high end... I’d consider it to be totally out of his system in a little over 2.5 days (60 hours/5 half lives). In a young guy with presumably good kidneys, that’s being generous. If the timeline given by the doctor is correct, it shouldn’t have been detectable at either event.
  • + 18
 At the dose he was taking it would have been no more than 8 hours and calculating the exponential decay (ie halflife) with 7 days of cumulative dose + the decay equation gave my 3 trillionths of a miligram estimate.

So he would have still tested positive at rotorua, but you are absolutely correct that unless UCI have some crazy sensitive test there is no way he should have been positive at Derby.

I wanted to believe it was a BS UCI decision but unless we were given inaccurate information regarding timelines, Martin's story does not hold water.
  • + 2
 Thank you for clarifying!!!!

Everyone wants to blindly take his side, but why, just cuz he’s a good rider??
  • + 18
 @skelldify: because people need to believe we have a clean sport.
  • + 1
 @onemind123: I would love to see the whole pinkbike community drug tested and results posted...LOL then let's see how many comments about this are posted ????
  • + 1
 All of the banned substances have no tolerance. It's a positive or negative, not dependent on how much is in the system still.
  • + 5
 @dualsuspensiondave: yes,but all tests have a limit of detection (minimum concentration that can be detected).

The point is even with super conservative (ie generous to Martin) assumptions there is no possible way he could have tested positive at Derby unless he was taking the drug longer than reported...
  • + 3
 @ppp9911: Excellent insight. Timeline doesn't match with that rate of decay. Didn't think to put that together. Dangerously close timeline for a masking agent and season opener. Not saying it's not legit, just too close for comfort. Calculated even.
  • + 3
 Hm. Well this is a bit concerning to hear. It's certainly a TAD suspicious that the very top EWS riders keep getting popped for doping...

And I mean, EWS riders (Gracia?) say that it's rampant. Not sure why he'd lie about that.
  • + 1
 @ppp9911: Right, and they were obviously able to detect trace amounts because that's how good their testing is. The prescription was not just taken once. He was probably on it for at least a few days if not longer. No need to put the tinfoil hat on.
  • + 6
 @dualsuspensiondave: math is hard for you? I have developed multiple lab based assays (tests) and i can assure you that even with tandem mass spectrometry you are not detecting that small of an amount (angstroms of a gram lol) that was with me giving every possible leniency. As Sangamon stated with a highly active athlete metabolism of the drug will be even faster...
  • + 5
 After the armchair engineer, say welcome to the armchair doctor !
  • + 21
 Out of range of the internet? WTF? In the post Armstrong world of testing athletes for drug use why don’t each and every rider carry a list of prohibited substances in a file on their phone?
  • + 2
 Perhaps he has the brand new $199 0GB iPhone!
  • + 6
 Ha! We carried a **GASP*** PRINTED document with us in the late 1990's and early 2000's during my track and field days. Why can't folks do that now? Are we TOO technologically advanced to simply carry a physical printed document?? Just thinking out loud here...
  • + 16
 Strange there aren't many comments regarding the doctors. There is two days between the first treatment and second treatment so I'm sure there would be cell coverage. I'm a journeyman carpenter and I have to know code when I build a house. I just can't tell the building inspector I didn't know that was wrong. I'm responsible. I don't know who these doctors are but they have to have some responsibilities during a race where they are dispensing drugs and there are also banned drugs, it is the responsibility of the doctors to know that they are prescribing something that is banned. Could they have gotten an exemption at that time? Certainly more possible than backdating one a couple of weeks after failed drug test.
  • - 3
 agreed!
  • + 75
 They were volunteer doctors at a non-UCI, non-EWS, "just for fun" event. I don't think you can really pin that sort of responsibility on them.
  • + 41
 Your points are valid, but here’s another view just for conversation:

The race where the incident happened was a small one in NZ before the EWS, and not connected to the EWS. These races have small budgets. Medics and Paramedics are drafted in. In the UK where I live, at equivalent races I have helped at this is done by contracting through an agency which some medics work for to earn extra money on top of their main jobs in hospitals/ambulance etc etc. The pay they get for this is reasonable, but does not factor in, or require, extra training to learn about WADA or UCI doping regs. They are medics concerned with health. Whilst it is reasonable to expect a EWS or UCI professional race to have Sports specific doctors, at smaller events (with less budget) maybe that is not the case, and drafted in medics are doing their best, but not aware for banned drugs lists.

Just thoughts, not intended to be the last say in the matter.
  • + 37
 The time line is easily being glossed over. Sure they didn't have cell reception the day it was prescribed...but they certainly had reception and access to the WADA list before they raced in Rotorura and Derby. They should have and could have checked the list and applied for the TUE before he failed the drug test.
  • + 4
 super bummer...but the whole no cell signal seems a bit odd. Someone out there surely had a signal or it couldn't have been to far to to get somewhere with a signal and check the list. -armchair quarterback rant end.
  • + 13
 @shirk-007: Hindsight is 20/20, you wouldn't expect to need to check if the antibiotics you got for your wound contained a banned substance, just like you can't expect your GP to know off the top of his head what is and isn't banned for racing in UCI. Just a shitty situation all round.
  • + 29
 Maes is lucky to still have his leg, you would do best to give that doctor some respect. Arbitrary sporting rules are no way his responsibility.
  • + 11
 @shirk-007:
This is actually the mistake. Not to check the list post event and apply for a TUE straight away.
But, even then the UCI may have rejected it. What especially sucks is when the UCI does not explain why they rejected the TUE and is not transparent about this stuff so that both the athlete and the fan is well informed.
Until they explain and it passes the pub test, i consider them a huge part of the problem.
  • + 20
 I don't think one can lay any blame on the doctors in this case. They were volunteers at a non-UCI event. Cant really expect them to taking into account possible prohibitions on non-performance enhancing drugs.

In such a case it is the responsibility of the athlete and his team to make sure that they comply with anti-doping rules. GT and Maes obviously didn't and missed several opportunities to avert damage. They didn't immediately apply for a TUE after getting back into cellphone range and they didn't declare the use of the drug before the next EWS/UCI race.

They also had the option of pulling Maes from UCI races until he was clean again, which would have taken away the opportunity for a win but would have prevented the ban.

All of this hints at yet another team not taking doping related issues seriously, to the detriment of the athlete.
  • + 7
 I couldn't disagree more chickenlassi (without some additional information at least).
- The banned substance wasn't prescribed during the first treatment nor was it known it would be needed at that time so Maes and team didn't know they needed to look up the substance in question.
- This doctor is there to treat athletes for emergencies. This isn't the athlete's primary physician that has an ongoing relationship. Hard to compare this to you going for a scheduled building inspection. I'm sure building codes evolve, but it's still a stretch to compare building codes with practicing medicine. One is tremendously more complex than the other.
- The doctor apparently did an awesome job, because Maes went on to dominate multiple rounds of the EWS after possibly losing his leg!
- Throw this doctor under the bus and how motivated are other doctors, EMTs, or anyone going to be willing to go volunteer at these events?
  • + 10
 This misses the point most simply because it is not the doctor's responsibility - it is the athlete's. This has always been the case and has to be, or you will have every athlete out there claiming it wasn't their fault, as has happened before in numerous instances.

Maes and his manager made a mistake in not checking the medication that was prescribed (they were informed, this is not a case of doctor giving athletes drugs without knowledge). The medication is also not banned, but rather only allowed with certain processes followed.

There are significant mitigating factors that have been considered in the sanction, but to hold anyone else liable than the athlete makes the system worthless. Also, in being a pro athlete paid significantly, this is exactly the type of thing you are responsible for. It's no different to turning up on time fit and ready to race and not behaving badly on social media.

In NZ, as other countries, there are phone lines to the in country ADA and websites available. If Maes had checked this he could had found out it was covered, gotten a back dated TUE before racing and there would have been no problem.

It's a really unfortunate, and exceedingly rare example of exigent circumstances colliding with poor processes.
  • + 3
 “But bruh it was either get cell reception or amputate my leg!”
  • + 7
 @chickenlassi - if only they made little cards that fit into your phone to store data, then maybe the list could have been saved and did not have to be accessed online...
  • - 1
 @aps62: I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Building codes still apply to me and I can still be criminally responsible if I do anything stupid like cutting load bearing walls.

I didn't know it was a small race. I don't follow the EWS so I thought it was that. Now the onus is on the team.

I am all with Marvin, but too many of these doping violations are a, "I didn't know . . . ." GT grow up and become world class. Your racer is.
  • + 1
 @Clarkeh: dont need to check for banned substances for suppliments either. I raced BMX late 80's, we knew about banned drugs. 40 years later?
  • + 1
 @Ttimer: ya correcto. It's the team
  • + 6
 @heinous: I absolutely agree with you. I don't understand the outrage here. He made the mistake. Not having reception to check is the lamest excuse I have ever heard after "the dog ate my homework" or "I didn't know". None of those excuses work in the real world.
  • + 1
 @OllyHodgson: yes, you can, for every doctor, every event, every time. These are doctors, and as doctor you have to care independently of the circumstances. And before all, to makes such treatments and then argue in such a way...just embarrassing. The very only explanation is that Maes and the whole GT-Team is stupid, the doctors do not have been doctors, or there has been an other intention of using Probenecid...
  • + 2
 @jefe: Bullshit. If his leg was actually in danger, or his life for that matter, any doctor worth his salt would have prevented Maes from competing (in conjunction with race officials), shipped his ass off to a hospital and treated him according to the standard of care for that country. Come on.
  • + 2
 @LeDuke: nothing like making sweeping statements without the benefit of all the context. There are many reasons why you'd avoid hospitals with serious infections provided other quality care options are available.
  • + 15
 1. A professional athlete, manager, trainer, team don't think to check the prescribed drugs to see if they are on the ban list. 2. A doctor, volunteer or not at a sporting event doesn't recognise this medicine as a masking agent which is on the ban list?
3. At no point at all does anyone f*cking check what medicine a professional athlete is taking?! What about his regular doctor? Was there no follow up after a serious leg infection? How could no one pick up that this medicine was banned and report it straight away to the EWS. What kind of team is this?? I'm not saying they deserve the ban, but they deserve to be called unprofessional.
  • + 8
 It's a mountain bike team, not an F1 operation. I think people overestimate the kind of budgets and resources available to them.
  • + 3
 Ya whoever was working with him that weekend was not on their A-game if this whole story is true.
  • + 1
 Holy f*ck mate; are you Jim Jefferies?
  • + 3
 @dubiousdesigns: they can't afford a $6 2GB SD card to save data on?
  • + 2
 Exactly.
  • + 8
 @dubiousdesigns: i think they’ve got enough of a budget to print out a list to take to races. They could probably even push to laminating it!
  • + 13
 Martin we realize this is a bad moment and it will pass. Enjoy the ride. We are glad your leg got better and that the infection didn't progress. It was the obvious RIGHT choice in a bad situation. You're gonna have a great season.
  • + 13
 "I am a professional and am required to follow these rules. I didn't and here is my excuse why I didn't."

This totally works for all job right? As a PAID PROFESSIONAL its your responsibility bottom line.
  • + 5
 Agree. Shit has changed big time - It's a professional sport! Each athlete absolutely has to be responsible for what goes into their bodies. Pretty easy to keep a pdf of all banned substances and refer to it regardless of internet access. Bummed for Martin. This sucks. We have to have rules and regulations so hopefully riders learn fast.
  • - 3
 Uh, yes. I'm pretty sure if the choice was follow the rules and lose a leg or don't lose a leg your boss would be let it slide... I know US capitaliam is fucked up but it isn't THAT fucked up
  • + 7
 @src248: That is when you file a TUE with the UCI.

Also maybe I am you are assuming that his side of the story is the absolute true. Have you ever cheated in school, or at work, or on a partner. You have cheated somewhere we all have so don't always be so naive to think that because you look up to someone then are perfect.
  • + 3
 @fun444: Which they did, and the UCI confirmed the story by acknowledging he took as prescribed by a doctor out of medical necessity
  • + 3
 Agreed. I don’t know how much money Martin Maes makes, but he’s a top rider. 100s of thousands or euros or dollars or whatever a year or more. So everything is at a higher level. That’s how it is. The team manager needs to step it up, Mars needs to step it up. Now their reputation is tarnished. Maes is no privateer. More money means more responsibility.
  • + 2
 @src248: I once got a written reprimand for going to the hospital during my shift. US capitalism is that f*cked up.
  • + 0
 @US Capitalism isn't a bad as you think. There's more to your story, there always is.
  • + 1
 @jorukfundan: I got very ill at a customers house. They called an ambulance. I got written up for leaving my shift early. That is the story.
  • + 0
 @Unrealityshow: That's a bummer story. I'm sorry to hear it. That's an irregular story, an outlier. It doesn't usually happen like that. So you must have a bad employer. That doesn't make US capitalism"f*cked up" though. Your user name indicates an American flag. I would appreciate if Americans were more constructive on this international Pinkbike forum, and all other forums, in their criticisms of this great country.
  • + 10
 I'm surprised how these top athletes are not proactive and are not following an established process.
They should disclose every drugs and supplements they use automatically every time they change diet or got a prescription then the wada would check for any potential problems. We even have computers to do that these days.
Some doctors, nutritionist or coach could even do that for their athletes as an added value. They could have a "doping free" label.
  • + 12
 So the doctor had the drugs on hand to administer to Maes, or it was a prescription and his manager or him still didn't check the WADA list before filling the prescription?
  • + 2
 Exactly, even if there was no reception where they were prescribed by the Dr, there would have been where the prescription was filled. Sounds a bit like an excuse after the fact for not checking.
  • + 8
 Dear UCI,

I, like many riders and fans of the various MTB WC series and EWS races, want a better explanation than the robotic lawyer talk you push out to the media. With the information in front of us now, I can't understand how anybody with a half a conscience can call the denial of a TUE just in this particular case.

Perhaps more due diligence is required from the team side in order to make your job of differentiating those who are doping from those with legitimate reasons for having something in their system easier. I still can't imagine how an accusation of doping such as this can cross someones desk, with all the evidence compiled and presented, and then have that person say, "well the rules are the rules, life and limb are no excuse."

If there was performance benefits, I would understand, even if accidental, and I can understand the other anti-doping cases that have come up since the EWS has joined the UCI. I just can't wrap my head around this one. There must either be details we are missing or a sore failure in the way the UCI does business and their consideration of the human factor.

Please provide all of the racing fans with a better explanation, or seriously review your own ethics and the process by which you determine exceptional cases such as this one.

-A rider that cares.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 A lot of us aren't just riders, but we pay annual fees to UCI when we get our local club racing licences. I've paid UCI nearly every year for thirty years. UCI, please explain.
  • + 3
 It's similar to health insurance in the USA. Deny any unusual claims as a matter of course.
  • + 11
 Go and obliterate the world of UCI DH again on your return. That’ll show em!
  • + 10
 The only answer is to bring this procsess in house. Pinkbike Readers Anti Doping Authority. PRADA.
  • + 6
 Personally, I'm just glad that Martin is ok to race again. That soft tissue infection sounds like a proper mess, so I'm glad that it all ended well (given the circumstances, the two EWS losses are minor!). I wrote below the other article that the use of probenecid was a bit strange, and given it's history, controversial in a pro-level athlete, so I understand (kind of...) UCI's point of view as well. As a side note, I do think a severe limb infection should be treated in a less cavalier manner even if you are busy, globe-trotting athlete...
  • + 6
 UCI enters Enduro scene. What we are seeing here are growing pains i guess, seems unfair yes and probably is in this case but rules are strict. Athletes will learn. That's the procedure right there. Sucks for Martin big time.
  • + 2
 I'm guessing these past three were shots fired over the bow. At some point, it will become zero tolerance and no one will dare to test the boundaries.
  • + 6
 I get tired if the, “I didn’t do anything wrong. All I did was make a mistake” excuse. He may not have done it intentionally, but he still did it. We wouldn’t excuse him if he accidentally cut some corners on a race course. I don’t see any reason to excuse the use of banned substances just because it was done accidentally. The good news is that he kept the leg and can race later in the year.
  • - 6
flag DavidGuerra (Jun 26, 2019 at 17:41) (Below Threshold)
 A reason would be that he could not have possibly benefited from that substance to improve his athletic condition nor to hide the use of another substance which could have done so. If there was any possibility of that I could understand the penalties, even if it was medically imperative for him to take the substance. As it is, it's just a decision that negatively affects the sport, which isn't or shouldn't be the reason for an organism like the UCI to exist.
  • - 2
 That’s nonsensical. Cutting corners saves time, being given this drug doesn’t.
  • + 7
 @DavidGuerra: You've missed a trick here here and risk putting others wrong with your assertions.

Probenecid is used to mask anabolic steroids from showing up in tests. If you accept that something like HGH is performance enhancing, then there's a pretty clear reason to ban or control probenecid.

It's been banned not just in cycling but in most tested sports for a long time, so I wouldn't go mindlessly blaming the UCI (I don't particularly like the UCI either, so I'm not cutting them slack here).

If you do a basic web search you'll find sportspeople who have recieved a ban for it's use stretching back to the 90's. Even in cycling.
  • + 1
 @ernestozed: I'm not contesting its inclusion on the forbidden substances list, however from what I have read and given a prior test that Maes had passed, he could have not benefited from this drug at that point.
  • + 1
 @ernestozed: i lookee that up. I was wondering if thr Probenecid was a masking agent for EPO. EPO would reeally help for enduro races. It looks like traditionally it was used to mask steroids though.
  • + 5
 Did everyone read the article and take his side without actually stopping to think? The issue is this drug masks the use of others, he could cheat and no one would know. By the sounds of it his injury really wasn't that bad, I'm sure he's hamming it up. And the drug prescribed wouldn't be in any doctors top 5 for treatment of infection... The 'facts' don't add up. Sorry but to me it looks like doping, and if we say we don't have it we have to stand by decisions that stop it.
  • + 5
 @skelldify: Unfortunately the sport is corrupt with bad seeds (not sayin this dude is). There has to be a hard line, like the military - don't smoke the green bud, etc... So,as a team, there is typically someone well versed in the legal aspects. And when it comes to substances ingested... YOU are responsible for the shit YOU put into your body, whether it was prescribed or not, Just sayin.

No coverage in or near a hospital... Suspect, WI-FI router... Do the crime, do the time. Don't look for sympathy from me. There is always two sides to the story, or things left out...
  • + 4
 "Could more be done to educate riders and prevent the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs?"

It wasn't performance enhancing though? Seems unfair in this case. I have had severe cellulitis in a leg wound and it is excruciating and potentially deadly. How can the UCI recognise this fact, then the fact it isn't performance enhancing and still dish out a ban and reputation damage?
  • + 9
 So drugs that mask the performance enhancing ones should not be banned?
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: Well that’s a leap I absolutely did not make.

You’ve got a guy who has never tested positive previously. The UCI recognised that he had accidentally taken masking substance, had acknowledged it was accidental and that it was purely for medical reasons. I might also add there were photos shared of him being stitched up. To add to all that it was not a substance that gave him a competitive advantage.

What I am saying is this seems to be a cut and dry case and that he shouldn’t be slapped with infractions when what he was found with wasn’t even performance enhancing in the first place. It’s like being slapped with a speeding ticket for rushing to hospital with someone dying in the back of your car.

Of course mask substances should be banned but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat things case by case and with some common sense.

This comment section is on another planet sometimes. This isn’t team sky we’re talking about, with medics on speed dial and drugs available left right and centre; it’s a bunch of endurbros just trying to make a living.
  • + 1
 @bentown: if you want every single drug case to be judge fully on a case by case basis then you’d better be prepared for these cases to drag on and on. Probably also safe to assume that you wouldn’t compete whilst it was being dragged out as then the ban could be started from when the AAF was found. Otherwise you’d lose all results from when the AAF was found, and then you’d still have a full ban to serve anyway. Now that will totally ruin people’s careers.

Simon Yates is a good example of this. Team made a mistake that they knew could/would lead to a ban. He stopped racing right away, and a chunk ban was served retrospectively
  • + 1
 @bentown: EWS only started testing this year and he tested positive early in the season, so almost right out of the gate. So 3 riders have come back positive so far (2 before the season even began). That is 3 more than I can recall ever seeing in WC DH! Where are these 'stupid mistakes' in that discipline?
  • + 4
 How do we know he isn't lying? It is just a couple of statements on the internet.

The length of the treatment of the drugs and the half life of the drugs combined with the timing of the test itself makes the excuse at best dubious. Compounded by the no phone service in an area of New Zealand that wouldn't be that far to get back into phone service. Further compounded by the doctor saying "risk of infection" not "badly infected" as people on this forum seem to think.

Ignorance is not really an excuse. The punishment is, if anything, light for the contravention combined with the plausibility of the denial.

I believe these three transgressions are the tip of the iceberg. It is just a shame that the EWS is proving themselves hypocrites and cowards by backing down from the lifetime bans the very first instances it has arisen.
  • + 3
 Further, this is written on the best practice advocacy centre website for the drug Probenecid here bpac.org.nz/BPJ/2015/June/cellulitis.aspx

"Probenecid is not routinely recommended in combination with oral antibiotics"

Followed shortly by this

"Probenecid is prohibited at all times by the World Anti-Doping Agency and should not be prescribed to elite athletes as it may be used as a masking agent."
  • + 5
 Just blaming the UCI is too easy. They needed to apply the rules that are there. The problem started before the testing by not checking the (also offline working) NADA App and requesting the TUE as soon as possible.
  • + 4
 As an alternative view, Martin could have avoided all of this with proper shin guards.
The current trend to protect only the knee but leave the lower leg exposed is about fashion not protection.
Same with the whole no gloves and elbow pads thing.
How many serious injuries could be avoided with a little more coverage?

Bike racing is not a fashion show.
  • + 1
 Most common sense comment posted here. 100% agree.
  • + 1
 I'll start by saying you're right about the reduction in safety equipment seeming crazy. However; and I'll probably get down voted into oblivion here, fashion is absolutely a part of mountain biking culture. Should it be? Not at all, but people are vain. A big part of bike racing is bike selling- that includes kits, gear etc. If people deem you as looking "stupid" (again, based on vanity), it's going to hurt your personal brand, and therefore, your sponsor's brand.

There's a reason everyone is racing with colorful matching kits these days- it's not for performance sake. It's silly, but, it's also the reality of the sport and people in general. Looks matter, and as such, people will make decisions based on that.
  • + 1
 @phobospwns: I’ll never win the fashion game cos I’m colorblind. I try to do reds because I can see them. But I just bought a new Super DH helmet thought it was yellow. It’s neon green. Got red Smith glasses to go with and old POC stormtrooper knee/shin pads. Nope not winning any fashion contest. Lol.
  • + 1
 @fattyheadshok: It's obvious that you're something totally different - a trend setter, bud. Who doesn't love red + neon green? It's a new classic look.
  • + 3
 Get that app Martin, it works offline: apps.apple.com/de/app/nada-app/id532478926

"Die Medikamentenabfrage NADAmed könnt ihr jederzeit auch offline verwenden. So erhaltet ihr schnelle Auskunft über die Dopingrelevanz von Medikamenten."
  • + 6
 Keep it up Martin, bad luck/ good luck. It’s called life. You’ll be fine, feeling for you.
  • + 5
 Teams should have a hard copy of the restrictions with them all the time. Why blow a whole season due to a lack of preparation?
  • + 3
 Some of y'all act like it's realistic for doctors and athletes to have a list of 300+ chemical names memorized. Get real. Most of you couldn't name all 50 states and capitals or all the countries and capitals in Europe, much less be concerned about it when your leg is at stake.
  • + 1
 Absolutely. The team should’ve gotten on the case with a TUES right away though. Might still have been rejected, but you then they wouldn’t have had the double AAF, results being stripped, etc
  • + 0
 Are you suggesting that it is impossible for a professional athlete to have a list of prohibited substances saved on their smart phone? This IS his job, after all.
  • + 1
 Not to mention a list that's constantly changing.
  • + 1
 @LeDuke: Sure, save a list... which is great, until it gets revised. If you miss a revision and you're working with an outdated copy, you're bound to get dinged. If you work in any kind of environment where documentation changes regularly, you know a "paper copy" isn't a good solution.

More realistically, you'd refer to a "one true source" that's revision controlled, on a UCI sharepoint or the like. This is what they were likely unable to access when Martin took the medication.
  • + 1
 @phobospwns: yes paper copies aren’t good, but hat should have been plan B. Relying on a phone signal in a sport that by definition takes place in remote areas is not a smart solution
  • + 2
 @scottishmark: by paper copy, I mean any copy that is not from the single source that UCI maintains. Any kind of version you publish outside of that (saving a pdf to your phone, or taking a series of screen shots or the like) is liable to be outdated.

It sounds stupid, but maintaining up to date, rev controlled documentation is easy on paper (pun intended), but it is hard in reality. Companies of all shapes and sizes struggle with it daily, from manufacturing to bike racing.

In the end, it's a situation that sucks. Maybe Maes is a legit doper who got caught. Maybe he just cared about getting better, and this is an unlucky consequence. We'll never know for sure, so we have to levy our own judgement. I choose to be optimistic about it, but ultimately I don't fault anyone who takes the cynical route. Either way, managing that level of detail from both UCI's side and rider standpoints is tough.
  • + 2
 @phobospwns: tbh you’re not going quite far enough there (I work in a complex manufacturing org so control is right up there). Any paper copy is only current at the moment it’s printed regardless of source, after that the master could always be changed. So master would be plan A, paper backup as B.

Agreed that it’s a shit situation regardless
  • + 3
 When you are drug tested you are asked specifically what you are taking. You are told to list anything you intake. Or have taken in recently. My question is, why wouldn't Martin have listed those prescribed drugs when he was undergoing testing, especially knowing how sensitive the testing is and that there is always a potential for failure because of prescribed drugs?
  • + 2
 How hard is it for the UCI to provide event doctors with the banned substance list? And on the flip side, how much more clear can it be this was a medically necessary and appropriate use of the banned substance and it should qualify for an exemption? If they have to issue a punishment of some sorts, so be it. However, stripping Martin of his wins and a 3 month ban seems totally outsized considering the circumstances.
  • + 9
 It's very easy. Anyone can download it from the internet. 30 seconds with your search engine will find it
  • + 3
 It wasn't at a UCI event.
  • + 2
 I think this whole thing is about the UCI not wanting to set a precedent. If the accept the TUE after the fact, then other dopers in the future might try to get away with doping by making up some infection that got out of hand story. I think the UCI knows Martin wasn't doping but nevertheless it is your job to check what you put into your body and not having signal is the worst excuse ever, so that yo can file the TUE BEFORE the fact and maybe another decision would've been made. It sucks for Martin, but this kind of decisions have to be made in order to keep the sport clean so you can enforce the zero tolerance policy on doping.
  • + 2
 I understand that with a rider and his team and chosen doctors, it is their responsibility to monitor what goes in their bodies, and to follow the rules. In this case, it was emergency care at an event, by an event doctor. Part of the system should be to automatically load the care information and apply for the TUE. If a wide open TUE cant be granted (required drugs are PED, or masking agent has a certain threshold), then the limits should be communicated. I.E. you have 10 days you are allowed and will have a test on the 11th that can be no higher than XX parts per million. Or in the case of a required PED, you have a 10 day medical suspension with no penalties.

why would they not do this? The teams don't have the resources to manage, but the UCI sure does.
  • + 2
 I feel for Martin, this sucks a lot as I too was rooting for him.

However, moving forward, I don't understand why doctors would even bring certain medicines to a race that they [should] know are on the banned substance WADA list. I mean, if there were alternatives, do the homework ahead of time and just don't bring anything to the race on the list. Also, if it's a serious as it was, maybe have a separate first aid kit labeled "this kit contains life saving medicine that is on the banned list, use only for super serious injuries and consult with rider ahead of time!"
  • + 2
 I wonder how Baller feels right now? Systematic elimination of the top riders in a series he worked so hard to build up?

I'm not here to assume guilt, and yay to the UCI for catching dopers - but one does wonder if the TUE would be accepted if it was lodged by a protour rider?
  • + 2
 How ridiculous Dude was prescribed the med by a fricken doctor to possibly SAVE HIS LEG. The governing body verified it, there was no performance gain by taking it, yet they STILL penalize him The UCI strikes again. I swear if you look up 'useless' in the dictionary, one of the examples of the word used in a sentence says 'The UCI is worthless, and useless'
  • + 2
 There’s a part of me that hates that racing has taken mountain biking to such a point of athleticism that folks feel the need to supplement themselves so much. I go on casual rides and dudes are popping pills and drinking various electrolyte drinks. Having said that I’m definitely not winning any races with my chairlift beer and bacon sandwich. The guys that take those supplements are animals so I guess it’s whatever.
  • - 6
flag src248 (Jun 26, 2019 at 16:53) (Below Threshold)
 He took a drug to SAVE HIS LEG what the fuck are you talking about
  • + 5
 @src248: I actually don’t have a problem with that. The stigma surrounding supplements is probably the real issue. The drive to compete at absurd levels has created a market of pharmaceuticals that any regulatory body couldn’t hope to keep up with. The UCI trying to keep things fair in the face of that is almost an impossible task, they’re bound to f*ck up like this I would think.

I have an old picture from a bike race at the beginning of the 20th century where dudes on road bikes are slamming what looks like beer. The further the cycling culture gets away from that the more of this bullshit you’re going to see.
  • + 5
 Dude, you’re talking smack about electrolytes...ELECTROLYTES! That’s like giving someone shit for eating calories during a ride.
  • + 3
 Raw deal! Doctor thinks on his feet in a remote location to save Maes limb. Surely the fact he's a neutral and not a team doctor should count for something At least you've still got your leg!
  • + 2
 Good to see the polarisation of PB continues.

Hands up if you are a die hard fan boy and cant get enough of that koolaid stuff. Vote "BAD UCI". #martinisinnocent #iridelargecassettes #wannabeelikemyheros

OR

Hands up if you are totally uninterested in the big brand media circus that is pervading our sport and making people like roadie sheep, keeping up with the Jones´s Vote "MTB 4 LIFE" #justrideyourbike #enduroisntracing

Wink
  • + 2
 Maes will be at the UCI sanctioned EWS this weekend as a spectator? Believe WADA prohibits him from even showing up...which caused the Lance fiasco a while back and addendum to the rule.

10.12.1 Prohibition against Participation during ineligibility
No Athlete or other Person who has been declared Ineligible may, during the period of Ineligibility, participate in any capacity in a Competition or activity (other than authorized anti-doping education or rehabilitation programs) authorizedor organized by any Signatory, Signatory’s member organization, or a club or other member organization of a Signatory’s member organization, or in Competitions authorized or organized by any professional league or any International- or national-level Event organization or any elite or national-level sporting activity funded by a governmental agency.
  • + 2
 I would have thought being a spectator would mean you are not being involved in any capacity other than to watch? It wouldn't be any different than watching the live feed from your home
  • + 2
 @leon-forfar: Sounds like he will be in the pits, answering questions, signing autographs. The lawyers can argue technicalities. I'm just suggesting hopefully his team has asked WADA for clarity on 10.12.1 and UCI on any eligibility rules, as historically it meant in road and CX, you go home from all things organized. I believe UCI even has their own set of rules regarding wage compensation and team activity during disciplinary periods.
  • + 1
 So Maes can show everything, on a paper, with Emails and proofs that he couldn't do differently when the problem was here and get 5 months away from racing And Rude takes 8 months for a "bottle" from someone else, Rude can decide when he will stop and start racing again also.

Someone get f****** up ... i guess it's better to be a US champs with drugs in the blood than an European with a clear situation.
Shame on UCI and WADA.
  • + 1
 Here is the reality! "We had no phone signal" well get some and check, this is after all GTs number one racer! Second ask the medic "so both are anitbiotics? He would of cleared that up there and then! Second have a team doc with you or at least a tier 2 medic! Anyone with any brain cells will know that the medics that hang around at these events are not Doctors (GPs) so any advise take with a pinch of salt and do some self research! Last it was an infected cut on the leg he was not going to lose it there and then! I have seen infected wounds in the Jungle and we waited hours for a CASVAC! Nobody is dropping limbs in the space of a minute! Poor management nothing to do with the rider or the medic this a management failure at it best.
  • + 1
 Out of curiosity is there a list of medications that the UCI or EWS gives volunteer medical staff that states what to have or bring during these particular events? That way something like this doesn't happen to someone that isn't trying to mask performance enhancing drugs.
  • + 2
 does he even need to explain anything, the dr. was clear in his statement, zero shame, this is simply a semi-ridiculous technicality. the dr. did the right thing and concurred by another doctor.
  • + 1
 Didn't check because of phone signal come on man? Pro racers, team set up. Have the jaysus wadda list downloaded and go with that, have it on the phones of the people on your team...have something. Look he took a banned substance intentional or not he took it. UCI noted that it was unintentional, has to still get some sort of repercussion for that, this is the best he could have hoped for, because if they'd said, "you're grand Martin was a mistake" the next time some guy took something instead of getting 2 years ban he could get 90 days. If his leg was that bad, he should have dropped out and went to the hospital...instead of taking something he didn't know about and take the chance. He took the chance, on advise, and got burned. All you have to do is look at a sport rife with positive tests (UFC and Bellator) to see the multitude of bans either intentional and/or accidental to see that people can be informed or can choose to roll the dice and see. Its a shame and i believe Maes here, but he took a chance and got burned, is what it is, it seems he's taking it the right way . Hopefully he smashes the World Champs!
  • + 1
 No mistake here, take meds keep leg = smart choice, to then complain when it turns out you broke the rules because a substance you took that "knowingly" advances healing = stupid, the meds taken promote healing therefor giving an advantage in terms of recovery in race's over multiple days the ban to allow it out of the system fine that's fair but taking away results is too much considering the circumstances.
  • + 1
 Who has a duty of car to the riders - the EWS? or UCI?

1) Why was the doctor not informed about banned substances?
2) If communications were known to be bad - perhaps the organisers should have an onsite satellite phone.
3) If he lost his leg because he didn't take a drug for fear of breaking anti-doping rules that was a banned substance - Can Martin/GT take legal action against the UCI/EWS?

This seems like an exceptional case. The UCI should have given the TUES and then reviewed their rules and procedures.
  • + 1
 as much as I understood, the actual administering of the drug took place during NZ Enduro, which is not an EWS/UCI event. It is a local race with probably very limited budget and resources, run by volunteers. All your questions are still valid though regarding an actual EWS event.
  • + 1
 We have all seen the big doping scandals. It's a good thing tests are done to prevent that shit happening again. Eventhough the rules are black or white. You have it in your body or you don't. Being intentionaly or not. I do think that the outcome and verdict should not be black or white and should be overseen by some disiplinary comitee. If actulally can be proven there is no wrong doing, the verdict should reflect this. Eventhough the athletes have their own responsability of what they are putting in their body. A track medic should be UCI aproved and be aware or have access to WADA prohibited substances list and therefore the culpit should be the medic. In the case of rude and graves they should not google it to know if a substance is legal or not. If it's not on the WADA website then it's legal and no sanction should be given or just a simbolic one. UCI and WADA should do some thinking.
  • + 4
 It's like reading the news in the U.S., frustrating. I'm gonna go ride my bike like I'm 12 again and then drink a beer.
  • + 1
 I wonder why all professional athletes don't have a printed copy of all the banned substances in their kit bag. I know I would if my career depended on it. He took a banned substance, under perfectly understandable conditions and received the minimum imposition from the UCI. That's them tacitly saying that they accept the circumstances, but rules are rules and have to be applied without fear or favour. There's nothing wrong here. He did what he and the doctor thought best for his health and the UCI applied the rules accordingly.
  • + 1
 @Martin Maes

"....Originally we thought the probenecid was an antibiotic and that's the big mistake...."

Dude, come on. Seriously, you are responsible for what you put in your body, and why. Pure and simple.

BTW... There's this APP you should get for you're phone. Its called google...! What an idiot.
  • + 1
 "I accept the decision of the UCI and I'm not guilty, I didn't do anything wrong, I just made a stupid mistake not to check on the WADA list after the probenecid was prescribed to me".
You can't have Both Martin. You either accept the decision or you are not guilty, you cannot have both. If you accept the decision then you also accept guilt.
The mistake wasn't not checking AFTER taking the drug. The mistake was not checking BEFORE taking it.
You seen very confused.
  • + 0
 Unfortunately you are right. MM is guilty of a doping violation but one apparently born out of naivety
  • - 1
 seems ironic and farcical, that you can cynically frig the system by claiming you've got asthma, vouched for by your team doctor to get a TUE. But you get popped for something prescribed by a neutral doctor employed by the sports governing body during a medical emergency.
  • + 1
 Totally lame that UCI didn't give a retrospective TUE, given the known circumstances. That said, a complete list of prohibited substances is available for download as a PDF from the WADA website, which would negate the need for internet at the time of taking any drug - every phone and laptop in the paddock should have a copy of it.
  • + 1
 This a systemic problem with most bureaucracy, institutions and businesses.*****NO WITH-IT-NESS*****AKA COMMON SENSE****---This could have been handled differently and quickly resolved with some simple investigation---Of course biking in general has a long history of doping however in this case I would have had him agree and submit to random tests at the UCI discretion for three years with no limits on how much. If he tests positive then throw the book at him--He has had no history of any previous positive tests and the entire circumstance was investigated with supporting depositions. The only piece missing is the cell coverage---I'm assuming the UCI has an investigation arm--Very simple take said cell phone ----go to place of alleged phone call---look at phone for signal. Furthermore get the cell phone records---again very simple. If Maes stands by his innocence he would not have a problem producing the phone.
  • + 4
 He can look at it from another perspective and be happy to still walk on two legs!
  • + 1
 This whole situation just pisses me off. Martin, you did not make a mistake, and neither did your doctor. You were prescribed proper medication for a serious infection (sounds like staph). Penicillins are often combined with probenecid, as probenecid inhibits renal excretion of the penicillin, thereby increasing the concentration of the antibiotic in your blood.

Guess the UCI would rather have racers without legs.
  • + 3
 Or Cellulitis.

They've been using Probenecid for that very reason since WWII where they used it to extend Penicillin supplies in field hospitals. I don't know if there was some dark ulterior motive here but the use of this drug in the situation described in the article is legitimate.

IMPO, it looks like an over reaction. The doping enforcement was lax and it got out of hand, now they're going overboard and the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Some of the things on the Restricted List are just......Wow, Really???

In the big picture, the UCI continues to come up with new and interesting ways of making me less and less impressed with them on an almost weekly basis..... Pass the Popcorn Please.....
  • + 1
 Get a grip people!
Probenicid is a masking agent for anabolic steroids. Like proper doping. Not a bit of preworkout that is a bit too turbo.
If Martin's story is 100% legit it is really unfortunate for him, but no way he could have been given a free pass.
The penalty is actually pretty light for what he has been popped for.
  • + 3
 can't help comparing Maes's story vs. "I drank from someone else's bottle" :/
I trully hope everyone's clean tho.

And Martin, please, go f*cking kill it next year!
  • + 3
 What if the i drank from someone else‘s bottle is true?

Martin/GT defenitely handles it better, or can speak frankly cause there is no secon party involved
  • + 2
 "I drank someone else's bottle" vs. "I trusted a volunteer race doc instead of going to the hospital even though I was at risk of losing my leg" story.

I think the second sounds worse when you put it in those terms.
  • + 3
 @fryrye: the reason for going to a hospital would be to see a doctor, but there was already a doctor on site... I'm a little confused by the point you're trying to make here
  • + 1
 It's easy to go on about how "stupid" or "JV" Maes and his manager were, when it's not your leg, or the leg of someone you're responsible for, on the line. Get real.

This seems about as honest a "mistake" as someone can make. It's a common problem with governing bodies, when the rules themselves become more important than the spirit of the rules and why they're there in the first place. It's sad.
  • + 1
 That belgian joke really doesn`t make me laugh. I really hope that this scandal, because it is a proper scandal, will be reconsidered and that the UCI will study its conscience regarding that totally unfair story. A great champion like Martin Maes deserves some indulgence and several excuses by the way.
Good luck Martin, et courage!!! Smile
  • + 0
 You did nothing wrong Martin, you did what was best for your health.
Side note - all you guys that smoke a joint before you ride, you're all drug cheats in WADAs eyes:
www.wada-ama.org/en/content/what-is-prohibited/prohibited-in-competition/cannabinoids
  • + 1
 Sorry but something just doesn't ring true here...no signal..what not on anybody's phone at all on any network..with the implications surely a professional athlete would check..land line anyone???
  • + 0
 Sounds eerily similar to USA health insurance companies playing doctor, remotely defining what medicine and procedures are appropriate for a patient without the full knowledge of their medical history or present emergency. It is almost impossible for the insured to make their voice meaningfully heard, just not having insurance sounds like a poor and ineffective plan, and it is hard to believe that the right to vote has power either.

The racers do have a meaning full way to protest and I hope they do! Band together and stop racing until Mr. Maes results are reinstated and an apology is issued along with a promise from the UCI to amend their operating procedures going forward to first protect the people they are "governing" with educated compassion.

Only the top racers are going to earn a cash prize, and their livelihood is likely primarily supported by sponsors. If I was a racer (I know I am not and therefore my opinion actually does not matter), I would just go trail riding, take some photos, drink some cafe, then post some genuinely fun filled images to social media because that is what the fans really want to see!
  • + 2
 Mistake for sure, but claiming ignorance isn't an excuse. Maybe he really meant to say "I'm not a cheater/doper" instead of "I'm not guilty".
  • + 1
 Great mentality mate, you’re going to a bigger athlete to have this kind of mentality. That’s what separate a great and good athlete. Hope for the best for your future Martin.
  • + 2
 Maes should be happy he got saved his leg, because it could have evolved much worse with much long term effects on his health and career.
  • + 1
 Pinkbike should have already come up with article "The 6th thing we learnt at EWS Rotoura" whose sole body would state:

"ALWAYS CARRY YOUR BOOZE !!! You've fought for water-bottle mounts in your frame, then use it."
  • + 3
 So getting a doctor to possibly save life or limb is not a legitimate excuse. Unbelievable.
  • + 3
 So they let a biological male compete in women's and Martin gets 90 day suspension and stripped of 2 wins over this?
  • + 0
 Nothing wrong with the UCI or the doctor, this is nobody's fault but Maes', if you want to be a professional athlete you need to act professionally. Do you think a top sports person in other sports would take a drug without checking it wasn't banned first? This doesn't happen to Messi or Federer because they're professional. If he really had no choice but to take the drug or lose his leg then he still had two weeks to check the banned substance list before the EWS and either withdraw from the competition or apply for a TUE. Even after all that he still had another week after that before the 2nd race. Also if the drug was prescribed for 7 days, shouldn't it have been out of his system after 2 weeks? I honestly hope it was just a mistake and other pro mountain bikers learn a big lesson from this.
  • + 1
 With any mainstream sport people would have seen what happened and there would have been reporting about the severity of the injury. Instead we find out how scary of an infection Maes had because of this bullshit.
  • + 3
 I think at some point sports like cycling should just have two classes of athlete, stock and unlimited.
  • + 1
 Way to go UCI!! You’re completely
Validating everything we have expected of you. You got involved with EWS, and are immediately making stupid existing that can’t even be reasonably explained. You suck.
  • + 3
 Er, ensure I don't loose my leg or take a ban - think I'd knowingly break the rules if that was the only option!
  • + 1
 Best of luck to you Martin! Sucky deal! Awesome to hear you trying to make the best of it and move forward with a positive attitude! Cheers!
  • + 2
 So maes incident was labeled ‘non-intentional’, does that make Rude’s intentional?
  • + 3
 I think the truth to the story is the UCI hates mullets and mullet bikes
  • - 1
 Sorry to read that, Martin. It is shameful that the UCI did not approve the exception, considering that you must have been in a lot of pain and at risk of losing a limb, they cannot reasonably claim that the responsibility was yours. Simply because an alternative medication exists that the doctor was not aware of, why should the blame be on the athlete? They can take away your points, but they can't take away your talent.
  • + 1
 Really feel for this guy, seems like one of the more straight up and down characters & looks like he does the right thing.
  • + 1
 So... Is no one going to consider the fact that he has tested clean 9 times before?(he was winning last year, too) Seems like that gives some plausibility to his story
  • - 1
 UCI Says - You must lose your leg instead of taking proper life saving precautions so no matter what happens after a tragic event if your doctor prescribed you a life saving dose in order to save your life you're now banned? pathetic
  • + 2
 A doctor working on a VOLUNTEER basis makes a medical decision to treat a serious infection. UCI can suck it.
  • + 2
 Not saying I don't believe him but it also sounds like a perfect cover up excuse... lol
  • + 0
 yeah, let me go intentional and visibly injure myself, hire 3 doctors to concoct a story and stick with it despite the risk to their professional reputations, all so i can dope.... perfect excuse and so easily done! if only it werent for those meddling kids...
  • + 0
 @laxguy: that is what I am saying... it is intricate it would be brilliant. But like I said I believe him, not like this is road cycling where million dollar sponsorships are on the line.
  • - 1
 These are the results of a blanket style rule book. Terrible really. Maybe the UCI or the EWS needs to inject some funding into training, education for the volunteer medical staff that make these events happen or have someone on the ground with the medical team that is there to clarify any questions the medical team have.
  • + 2
 The only mistake Martin made was starting the New Zealand Enduro! What a s#!t show that ended up being!
  • + 1
 Agreed, the clip they showed of the river crossing was a complete joke, was half expecting to see someone get seriously hurt watching that
  • + 0
 So the Rude and Graves thing still seems a bit sketchy to me. There is a chance that there's was intentional but this one seems like total bullshit. Just the UCI throwing their weight around and trying to make an example.
  • + 7
 Making an example would be banning him for life. This is one step above a slap on the wrist. Maes is damn lucky.
  • + 1
 Perfect answer of "Slocyclist"! I agree 100%. See as well my comment on the first PB-article on Maes' positive test.
A swiss MD
  • + 1
 Remember back when the UCI wasn’t involved in the EWS? Before they started f*cking up yet another discipline in this sport?

Oh wait that was last year.
  • + 1
 I’m sorry, but if your in risk of losing your leg to infection youre not going to be racing. Plain and simple. This isn’t rocket science here.
  • + 1
 Hard to know who to beleive in any of these but it still seems a bit more of an honest mistake than, some other guys water bottle must have had it in it.
  • + 1
 Saving his leg is not a mistake tho
  • - 1
 Gutted for you Martin Maes, you are a world class athlete and role model. Who is surprised here, UCI effing blowing it again... I can't fathom why the TUE was not approved, but utmost respect for Martin attempting to legitimize the use and being proactive.
  • + 1
 Sorry but why in the 2 days after taking it did they not look it up?

They new it should be checked. They tried (but no reception) so they couldn't phone someone?
  • - 1
 The UCI has to be tough on drugs, it is their job - fair enough! However common sense would dictate that due to the circumstances and the non competitive advantage a suitable outcome would be: Fine him like they did, give him a 90 day ban - like they did BUT make it effective from 1 Jan 2020, so not to miss the main EWS series but the off season, national races. It has taken the UCI this long to hand down the sentence it is just as conceivable they wait as long to implement it!
  • + 1
 The only way to level the playing field is to allow the use of all drugs in cycling. I for one would be excited to see the results of fully drugged up races!
  • + 2
 Martin don't need drugs to win ask the world Cup boys.
  • + 3
 Also the EWS boys, as he tested clean and won again after the infection cleared
  • + 1
 ...saying that the Doc was at the race you'd be forgiven for thinking there was some joined up thinking there or should be
  • + 0
 It sucks but "I didn't know" isn' good enough at that level. That applies both to doctors and athlete. I'm prepared for your downvotes.
  • + 1
 Pinkbikers also hate frames with bottle holder mounts on the outside of the downtube near the pressfit bb??
  • + 1
 Good on you Martin for taking such a blow with a level head and a clear sense of purpose though.
  • + 0
 A call to ask some one about that ? That was sad to but........you play by the rules and sometimes pay,don’t give up your to young to do that
  • + 1
 Why didn't he notify the UCI of medication that he was taking/took?

It's pretty much the basics ffs.
  • + 1
 If you're short of something to do Martin you can tag on some of my rides ????
  • + 2
 Holy shit that chic is ripped !!
  • + 1
 You saved your leg and potentially your life at the advice of competent medical professionals. You didn't make a mistake.
  • + 1
 it's not like Missy and Myles with weed.. and what's here name with the Emotor in the seatpost
  • + 1
 No worries Martin. We would have done the same. Live and learn they say. This is the hard way.
  • + 1
 At least his career won't be over when his suspension ends, like James Stewart & Brock Tickle.
  • + 0
 The UCI is just trying to kill the EWS any chance they get. They are jealous that they didn't come up with such an awesome sporting format! If so they are doing a great job!
  • + 2
 Stand up guy, gutted for him. Really bad for him. Gutted
  • + 1
 It's infected and the stitches are still in? Yeah, somethings infected! It's a participatory sport. Go ride your bikes
  • + 1
 why nobody here asks the main question:
'will my fantasy team also be stripped of points?' :o
  • - 1
 Friggin HATE the UCI. My gut feeling when they merged with the EWS was that it wouldn't end well and now look! Despite Martin doing nothing wrong whatsoever, his reputation will be forever tarnished. Dogs
  • - 2
 Totally true. Within a year 2 great and arguably innocent athletes ban.. Nice UCI
  • + 2
 Hello, WADA

(russian olimpic team)
  • + 2
 Can't win anymore races if your missing a leg...
  • + 2
 The world champs got even better though
  • + 0
 The UCI is trash for situations like this. There need to be exceptions, and evidence supported facts to back up these types of issues. Maes got fucked.
  • + 3
 UCI sucks.
  • + 2
 UCI is bad for cycling. Period.
  • + 1
 Don't worry - DH just got even more stacked!!! Cant wait to see it. Good luck Martin
  • + 1
 I so hope he wins world champs
  • + 1
 Do Downhill riders get tested?
  • + 1
 How will this affect my Fantasy Enduro League?
  • + 1
 Lol he knew what he was doing....
  • + 1
 i wonder if OJ is still looking for the "real" killer ..........
  • + 0
 "I couldn't put my leg on the floor and I couldn't feel my leg anymore." Martin Maes is a poet and doesn't even know it.
  • + 1
 Ok , just swapped out Maes for Rude on my fantasy team !
  • - 3
 Can't believe this article simply didn't address the major issue here and creates more questions than answers.

First, how does this affect the results of the Fantasy Enduro League? will they be re-assessed?
Second, will people be stripped of their prizes for supporting a drug cheat? does this make them complicit cheaters and will they be kicked out of the league?
Third, was this the same doctor who filled up Jared's and Richie's water bottles?
  • - 1
 That is dumb It was for heath reasons and they had not idea and the race was still Fair so give him back his wins and unsuspend him cause that is just wrong
  • + 1
 now you’ve pissed him off and he’s going to crush the DH field
  • + 2
 the uci is bunz
  • + 1
 Maes is a beast. Hope he'll win World Champs in Mont Sainte Anne!
  • + 2
 #maesgotrobbed
  • + 1
 Lol bummer! So it has begun!
  • + 0
 This is as dumb as taking away ross rebagliati's gold medal for having trace amounts of pot in his system
  • + 0
 bjsm.bmj.com/content/38/6/666

Good read. System seems broken to me.
  • + 1
 Seems more legit than other stories we heard before...
  • + 1
 FML this is so dumb poor Mae's
  • + 1
 Maes, did nothing wrong, he should have applied for a TUE sooner though.
  • + 1
 I did not inhale either.
  • - 1
 How was he suddenly winning almost every stage of every race? Now we know. Cheaters never win.
  • + 1
 Yep like Lance, Wiggings and Frome all guilty as sin
  • + 1
 #banUCI
  • + 0
 Loss of limb situation..C'MON MAN!! Smile
  • + 1
 The UCI tossers !
  • + 0
 probenecid is used as a masking agent as well ...just saying!
  • + 0
 But not in this case... as proof by the infection in his leg, the clean drug test afterwards, and the word of 3 physicians.
  • - 1
 Such BS. Try not to loose a limb... UCI: that will be a 3 month ban.... f*ck off
  • + 1
 RIP EWS... Fook the UCI
  • + 0
 Who is the Doctor working for?
  • - 1
 Not guilty, just made a mistake... said every liar that's ever been caught, ever.
  • + 0
 #martinmeasgotrobbedbyuci
  • - 3
 There are too many banned drugs on the WADA list. Things like anabolics and epo yes they should be banned. But stuff like this is just stupid.
  • + 8
 Banning masking agents like this seems pretty sensible
  • + 2
 @scottishmark: context...
  • + 4
 @Frontrange: not 100% what you’re getting at, but assuming you mean “a doctor gave him it so it’s ok” then unfortunately there have been enough crooked doctors in sport to make that no longer feasible
  • + 1
 @scottishmark: The issue is WADA collects up all drugs that have theoretical enhancement benefits or masking effecrs and bans them. For Probenecid the only athleres that have been banned were using it as part of medical treament. This drug and others like it should not be onnthe WADA list.
  • + 2
 @scottishmark: Also my concern with WADA goes beyond just this masking agent. What I see is non-competitive athletes addressing injuries quickly using prescribed drugs (with no enhancement) whereas the competitive athletes are suffering through injuries having to bypass effective treatment options just because they are on the WADA list. How is this a good thing?
  • + 2
 @StackingItSince1991: which competitive athletes have suffered through injuries because of WADA?
  • + 1
 @scottishmark: There were more than a dozens NRL players pinged a few years back for using injury repair drugs that are banned under WADA. Even though these drugs give zero performance enhancement.
  • + 2
 @StackingItSince1991: Why are the drugs banned?
  • + 0
 @scottishmark: Because the anti-drug agencies (not just Wada) didn't do enough due diligence. They just lumped one drug into the same camp as other drugs and assumed it was a potent PED. What they should have done is looked at the specific studies or commissioned their own studies.
  • + 1
 @StackingItSince1991: you misunderstand, what reason has been given for the drug to be banned? E.g. the Maes case is nothing to do with it being a performance enhancer
  • + 1
 It's as easy as going CTRL-F on a PDF document... the list can be as long as required.
  • - 1
 #MaesGotRobbed
  • - 3
 super inappropriate that docs at these events who are prescribing are not provided banned lists.
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