The Rider Suspended for Using or Possessing 10 Banned Substances Responds to USADA Sanctions

Apr 28, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
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The Californian rider penalized by USADA for the usage or possession of 10 banned substances has provided a response to his sanctions.

52-year-old Vahe Aivazian was suspended for 4 years after USADA was sent an anonymous tip-off and has had all of his results stripped back to June 16 2010. While Vahe did accept his sanction from USADA, he claims he would have to have to flown to Norway to contest his case through arbitration, something that was not a possibility for him due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vahe believes that he ingested the banned substances via dietary supplements that he did not realize contained ingredients that could get him banned. He also claims he was never blood or urine tested and that he was assumed to be guilt based on the testimony of others.

The following response provided by Vahe's lawyer is posted in full below:


Statement: Vahe Aivazian

In response to the article posted on USADA and Pinkbike my client’s statement is the following;

As the article states; “he elected to sign an acceptance of sanction form the day before the arbitration hearing in his case was to begin.” The information left out is that by US Cycling rules, I had to be in person in Norway for the arbitration. With the current climate of the world Pandemic that was not an option and if I did not show up the guilty determination would stand regardless of signature or not.

The article also states; “The ten substances below, which Aivazian possessed and used and/or attempted to use,” the wording of and/or is utilized in the statement because USADA or US Cycling never provided myself or my lawyer any proof of purchasing these substances or proof of me taking any substances that are outside of my Dr. prescribed medications. I was never blood tested, urine tested or any testing whatsoever. I was assumed guilty and per US Cycling rules assumptions over proof allow for banning of riders. Which intent is very import for every rider to understand that US Cycling when racing under their rules you are admitting guilt of using substances that they prohibit from the moment you sign-up. All they need is just one person to accuse you of any action of usage of substances that fall into these guidelines as stated on the USADA Website;

“If athletes choose to use supplements despite these known risks, USADA has always recommended that athletes use only dietary supplements that have been certified by a third-party program that tests for substances prohibited in sport.

USADA currently recognizes NSF Certified for Sport® as the program best suited for athletes to reduce the risk from supplements.”

So, cyclist going to a health food store or website and searching product that do not meet the above statement are guilty under the regulations of USADA and US Cycling. From my experience of over 20 years of racing can say most of us don’t know what dietary supplements contain and are sold over the counter at any local store or website.

At the end of the day I love mountain bikes and will continue with my passion of bikes and the community it has created for my life. I immigrated to the US 40 years ago, obtained my US citizenship, own my own business, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this sport and support of all the great people that provide local racers the events listed in the article. Without those people none of this exist and USADA and US Cycling have determined with no proof to eradicate a 52 year amateur racer that has done nothing but pour support and money into the local scene to ensure young riders have a place to race. Today USADA and US Cycling showed the world they do not support the local race organizers and frankly, should check every amateur's dietary supplement and do to them what they have done to me. I know that this would be the end of racing at all ages.

We have reached out to USADA for further information.


385 Comments

  • 388 15
 Pretty ridiculous to get sanctioned without a urine or blood test.
  • 110 61
 right? Everyone is so sure he's guilty without any sort of fair trial either......reminds me of some recent headlines....I forget what is what about.
  • 9 0
 What are these drugs prescribed by his doctor?
  • 40 1
 Yeah the whole thing sounds shitty. Even if guilty, this just feels wrong. Assuming the statements are all true of course, about never being tested etc.
  • 72 130
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Apr 28, 2021 at 8:46) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike should start a fund to help defend him. If there is no drug test.. No proof he did ingest!
  • 19 4
 @TotalAmateur: It's the UCI; not a court of law.
  • 121 36
 Delete your account @DoubleCrownAddict:
  • 9 3
 Why? Athletes have been sanctioned that have never tested positive before.
  • 122 60
 Pinkbike comments eviscerated this guy, yet somehow bought Martin Maes absolutely ridiculous story where he went from a decent rider to winning BOTH Enduro and DH races in the same season, "almost dies" in the jungle with no cell phone so has to take a masking agent, yet somehow bounces back from this near death experience to winning the next EWS. Graves story isn't much better.
  • 54 22
 He signed a confession. Why would they go through with testing if he admitted to using these substances?

He's only now back tracking and coming up with nonsense excuses (having to go in person to Norway to defend himself seems incredibly unlikely) in order to save face.
  • 8 10
 I would guess that the USADA wouldn't ban a rider without legal justification.
  • 64 21
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: Your inability to recognize nuance is staggering. Maes had the attending physician at the race going to bat for him. He wrote a long defense of Maes and the treatment, with his professional reputation on the line.
  • 19 31
flag chezotron (Apr 28, 2021 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 @DoubleCrownAddict: #DEFUNDUSADA #DEFUNDTHEUCI
  • 6 5
 @Eatsdirt: there's no legal justification one way or the other. The USADA isn't a governmental entity - they're a private organization. They can ban or not ban whoever they want.
  • 17 4
 @CaptainSnappy: Ahhh you're right, because they are not a judicial body they are excused from any sort of rational course of action, or fair treatment of their athletes. My mistake.
  • 14 2
 @Eatsdirt: I mean, if you look at the Lance Armstrong fiasco it's pretty obvious that they really only punish rule breakers when it's convenient.
  • 13 2
 @jayacheess: ya not like a physician would ever bend the rules....
  • 11 29
flag Y12Sentinel (Apr 28, 2021 at 9:38) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike should write a formal apology while they can.
  • 10 15
flag jayacheess (Apr 28, 2021 at 9:42) (Below Threshold)
 @TotalAmateur: Yeah, you know, he just decided to 'bend the rules' by giving someone he doesn't know banned substances after an injury in the middle of a race. Man, what a crazy, convoluted scheme they came up with to cheat.
  • 38 2
 A positive test is not the only way to get caught. Lance never tested positive, Riders are banned all the time for finding drugs and blood bags in hotel rooms and cars. If you are in possession of banned substances with the intent to use them it is evidence enough for punishment. the guy could have tested clean but still had the intent to use in the future or used in the past. I obviously have no way to know if he is guilty or what real truth is. Although he did sign the acceptance of sanctions and in his statement above he does not in anyway declare his innocence. Although it is so poorly written it is hard to understand what his message really is.
  • 3 11
flag Snake-Plisskin (Apr 28, 2021 at 10:00) (Below Threshold)
 @TotalAmateur:

The difference in that case the drug addict was made a saint and the other was guilty without evidence or a fair trial.
  • 6 1
 @toast2266: Saying they're a private organization that is not held to any legal or ethical standards is misleading.

@TotalAmateur I think you're mistaking Armstrong's ability to cheat with USADA's ability to ban.
  • 32 6
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: Ummm?? Maes has consistently been one of the top enduro riders in the world since 2015? He was not a "decent" rider before 2018. His story is absolutely nothing like Chris Froome, Flo Jo, or Usain Bolt that had absolutely meteoric rises in a single year in 2012, 1987 and 2008 respectively (truth on Usain Bolt is there if you look close enough).

www.rootsandrain.com/rider39928/martin-maes/results

I question a lot of athletes but not Maes. Also, Maes win at La Bresse was basically a year he was on fire. It is hard to maintain that high in Enduro/EWS as it just takes one crash to shatter your confidence. 2018 will probably be the landmark year of his career. Also - steroids isn't really going to help a ton with with downhill as once you reach a certain level of strength/fitness it is mostly mental. It is actually the day-of-competition drugs (stimulants like found in cold meds and oxilofrine which Graves/Rude were busted for) that would help the most in enduro/DH as they jack your ability to concentrate and react.
  • 8 2
 @tubby1536: Not totally true for blood doping & biological passport (EPO, modern hemocrit-boosting meds, blood bags) or getting busted for testosterone because your Testosterone/Epistestosterone levels are way out of line. These tests aren't "positive" but significant abnormalities are flagged that can lead to a doping suspension.

He is just trying to save face publically with his statement. Yes he was not busted so if he had enough $$ like froome he could potentially go to the Court for Arbitration in Sport to contest the USADA claim, but since he signed a confession, he actually can't. It is a useful message for the public though to try to convince friends/family he was clean.

Disclosure: Ben testing positive in 88' ruined competitive sports forever for me so I've read a lot on this. Ben was setup though in 88' and if he was American there is no way the news would have ever come to light.....
  • 5 4
 @Snake-Plisskin: ahh I see you drank that cool-aid. If Lance is a drug addict by virtue of his doping actions, then the entire UCI roster and Tour De France is nothing but a parade of drug addicts.
  • 12 11
 @Eatsdirt: my point is that they vehemently punished Armstrong despite there being a LONG list of people that also tested positive. But pretty much the whole world round loves to cancel people and watch their demise. I hate the whole "he made his teammates dope". How is a grown man going to force you to take a banned substance?
  • 9 8
 @jayacheess: I'm not saying that this particular physician did, but you acting like there is no scrutiny just because a doctor was involved is a bit naïve. but hey you believe in the inherent altruism of whatever profession you want.
  • 3 0
 @dr-airtime: Yes, lots of different way to get banned besides testing positive. Looking at the list of sanctioned athletes for USADA there are plenty of people that never tested positive. Refusal to be tested, purchasing product, MIA for out of competition tests, etc. Looks like a lot of weightlifters get popped for possession rather than test failure.
  • 15 8
 @TotalAmateur: And I didn't say that this situation shouldn't be scrutinized just because a doctor was involved. The circumstances of the incident are what's important. The way in which the doctor interacted with the athlete and explained that interaction after the fact were entirely reasonable.

It's really telling that we've got a bunch of people here defending a 52 year old PED user, while simultaneously calling in to question the reputation of a doctor, who by all accounts, was in good standing. Anti-intellectual, Joe Rogan-experience junkies seem to have flooded Pinkbike lately.
  • 7 0
 Honestly, I agree that if there was no test it sucks he got banned. But on the other end of the spectrum, i would bet a lot of people knew that this guy was/is cheating for 10 years or so. Slippery slope, but he did sign the confession. I don't care how or where the trial was - this guy knows he cheated and he finally got caught. So know he wont support cycling? GTFO here. They need to have a class where anyone can use anything they want. Roided out masters class where all the washed out druggies can race in peace....
  • 18 6
 @TotalAmateur: If you can't see that Armstrong's accomplishments due to cheating, and subsequent cover-up (Andreau saga?) is worthy of every ounce of punishment he received ... I'm not sure what to tell you. Check your values.
  • 15 7
 @Eatsdirt: I'm not saying that what he did was right, I'm saying that everyone is treating him like the lone culprit and trying to diminish his achievements when we know that the entire roster was doping. So USADA and UCI essentially made an example out of him, and really the only reason he was persecuted more than others was his involvement with the USPS and the subsequent fraud charges against the government. But lets not pretend that USADA or the UCI are in any way consistent in their application of their rules or punishments.
Sorry, but I don't think that after the millions of dollars he generated in revenue for various organizations like USPS, that those same organizations get to cry foul and pursue compensation of 250x of the declared fraud value. They might not have been involved in the doping, but they benefited from it and went along with the mob to the lynching.
also how cringe/nauseating is it to say "check your values" lol. My chief value is consistency, which is my entire point. If you think USADA is any sort of reliable organization, check your history lol. You obviously don't follow UFC at all or you'd know USADA is a joke.
  • 8 7
 @jayacheess: lol when I did I defend the PED user? All I'm saying is that there doesn't seem to be any real testing or validating of these accusations. And I understand the doctor explained his position, I'm just saying its convenient and the fact that we are just accepting Maes' story because there is a doctor involved just shows the limit of peoples willingness to critically evaluate a situation.
Not sure where your weird Joe Rogan rant was going, but based on the amount of straw-manning you're doing I'd say calling anyone an 'anti-intellectual' is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.
And FYI, the word I believe you were looking for is 'unintelligent'. Anti-intellectual implies the issue is against the person rather than the argument.
  • 3 3
 @Eatsdirt: if you have actually done research and feel that there was balanced application of the rules across the board, then man you must be huffing that good shit.
  • 3 0
 I need to party with this guy!
  • 10 10
 @TotalAmateur: No, pedant; I meant anti-intellectual, as in anti-intellectualism - a movement in the US that has picked up steam over the years.
  • 5 0
 @TotalAmateur: You seem to ignore the long list of riders also banned. I'm also quite sure the USADA has nothing to do with prosecuting fraud so your gripe is misdirected. Doping and trafficking... yes.

Maybe what you see as the lack of consistency is actually the USADA's ability to prove doping.
  • 6 0
 He's going to make a big comeback for 60+
  • 5 7
 @jayacheess: lol how are you going to argue that there is a movement against educated peoples as opposed to their ideas? just take the L and admit you were wrong.
  • 2 2
 @Eatsdirt: no, the lack of consistency is in their mediation of punishment. They bend rules for informants, literally. Look up the UFC USADA flags and you'll see they're just more of the same useless gov agency that gives certain parties a pass.
  • 6 1
 @Eatsdirt: @Eatsdirt: Agreed. As well as being a cheater, armstrong is also a chronic lier and bully. He is a contemptable human being and I have absolutely no time for him.
  • 3 8
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 13:00) (Below Threshold)
 @Skooks: I'm sure he's really bummed about your lack of time for him lol
  • 9 6
 @TotalAmateur: You're a sad forum troll. Your profile is a long list of comment section arguments. Do you have another account on pinkbike, or is this your entire interaction with the pinkbike community since 2020?
  • 8 8
 @TotalAmateur: Also, you don't appear to know what anti-intellectualism is or means.
  • 5 2
 @TotalAmateur:

Actually I was referring to a certain trial in Minnesota.


Lance was a pro doper. The tour was dominated by that in the 70’s and 80’s before testing could catch them. The 90’s on doping became a science of professional cheats. Today, I would be surprised if any of the finishers didn’t do some sort of PED’s along the way. Inhaling cocaine clears your system in 2 days. The South Americans were tops in using a chemical that was never cleared for human use, and causes cancer and other health problems in just about every user, but wasn’t on the test screening protocol. Just look at the latest drugs in trials list to see what is being used now.
  • 1 0
 @Meettaco: Hey hey hey, quiet down on the Masters.
  • 10 4
 @TotalAmateur: The more you type, the less I can take you seriously.
  • 10 1
 @TotalAmateur: So are you just a straight troll? I've seen you in a bunch of threads just being dick.
  • 2 13
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 14:11) (Below Threshold)
 @jayacheess: I absolutely do that's why I'm waiting for you to find examples of a movement against intellectuals as people rather than ideas. Or do you not know what the definition of the term is and you're still grasping?
  • 1 8
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 14:12) (Below Threshold)
 @Snake-Plisskin: "Inhaling cocaine clears your system in 2 days"
hold up, my brain is thinking that snorting cocaine cleans your system in 2 days, but do you mean inhaled cocaine leaves ur system in that time?
  • 2 11
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 14:14) (Below Threshold)
 @Eatsdirt: I mean if you're ignorant of USADA's history of flagging certain individuals and punishing them while leaving others then, I'm not sure there's any worth in what you take seriously. at least with regards to this topic.
  • 2 16
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 @jayacheess: so you still can't back up your use of that word, and are now resorting to personal attacks so you don't have to acknowledge your obvious faux pas. It's ok, accepting your failure is hard that's why so many people like yourself stay ignorant Smile
  • 1 13
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 @boogereater42069: I love how nowadays calling people out for their hypocrisy and ignorance is considered being a troll lol. sure, whatever you think buddy.
  • 1 13
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 14:20) (Below Threshold)
 @boogereater42069: I wonder if you're referring to the threads where I was repeatedly and intentionally misgendered. And if so, then I really don't care what you think. Bigot.
  • 6 0
 @TotalAmateur: This is sad.
  • 1 1
 @toast2266: it's not about if they can, it's about if they should. _If_ they are banning people without sufficient justification, then they're doing a terrible job and should not be in charge of anti-doping.
  • 5 2
 @justinfoil: it's really two questions: 1) was the accused given a fair process? And 2) even if he's guilty, is it appropriate for the USADA to publicly name and shame an amateur racer?

I have no idea on #1. I think the answer is clearly no on #2.
  • 2 12
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 14:59) (Below Threshold)
 @jayacheess: soooo still not admitting you used the wrong word lol. now I'm not even sure if you know what sad means lol
  • 11 2
 @TotalAmateur: you can stop, you've very effectively announced your stupidity to Pinkbike. Job done.
  • 10 1
 @TotalAmateur: I mean the fact that you're responding to like 10 people who are all annoyed by your comments sorta proves my point. You're a troll. All good. Bet you got tons of friends on 8chan
  • 1 12
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 16:17) (Below Threshold)
 @GeorgeHayduke: ahh one of those anti-intellectuals we've been discussing lololol
  • 1 11
flag TotalAmateur (Apr 28, 2021 at 16:18) (Below Threshold)
 @boogereater42069: whatever you say buddy Smile
  • 4 0
 So if there was a case with multiple online orders for clearly labeled banned substances placed using the athlete’s credit card, shipping to the athletes house, to the athletes name, with the athletes signature on the shipping receipt...

You think it’s “ridiculous” to sanction them without a positive test?
  • 1 3
 Agreed, but this odd the world we live in now. Guilty until proven innocent.
  • 2 0
 @dr-airtime: Bolt is a freak of nature that is close to perfect for runnimg insanely fast. And he broke every record on the track since he was 15. I dont believe for a second he was clean but he definetly did not just miracolously show up in 2002.
  • 4 1
 @toast2266: So drug cheats should be afforded anonymity if they aren’t professionals? I can’t see the logic in that at all. If you get caught cheating be prepared for some public backlash.

No idea wether this individual received fair process though, which is absolutely critical before naming and shaming at any level.
  • 2 0
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: well as someone who was there for Martin’s ordeal and know the two doctors personally involved with it. Can confirm his story is real there.


On a side note, I can’t believe how much attention this got, like this is an amateur guy who may or may have not doped to win a local race. Not like there’s millions of dollars at stake here. Can’t imagine being worked up about this. Maybe since Lance hate has finally died off, USADA are looking for things to do.
  • 3 0
 @Eatsdirt: Plus one for that. Mr Armstrong is a spectacular fraud and a nasty human bean to boot.
  • 2 0
 Pretty ridiculous to only get one side of a story...
  • 1 0
 @Tim2:
There is a French enduro racer,that was caught few years ago,got suspended for 1-2 years and now he is back competing.
You never heard his name , because it was not released.(he is not an amateur like this guy)
BTW he still compete and if I'm not mistaken before covid he also won in his division.
  • 1 0
 @dr-airtime: He has also been pretty consistently at the pointy end of DH since 2015 as well. As runner up at junior world champs that year and a win in juniors at Ft Bill if memory serves. He's always been a beast @GorgeousBeauGaston
  • 5 0
 @TotalAmateur: The UCI didn’t only punish Lance. Tons of riders got busted during that era, including every other TdF winner during Lance’s career. Lance gets additional scrutiny because he was the most successful, most famous, the boldest liar, and he actively ruined many innocent people’s reputation and careers to protect himself.
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: he didn’t though
  • 1 4
 @tubby1536: so my owning guns means I intend to kill someone? is that your(and the UCI/USADA) ridiculous attempt at logic? what you are talking about is conviction on the idea of thought/future crime. that, simply put, is antithetical to liberal(classic, not idiotic AOC type) democratic culture.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: It is not my logic, I am just explaining that this it is not unusual for athletes to get suspended without a positive test. I don't know if it is right or wrong as we don't have all the facts of the investigation.

I do think the situation is a little more nuanced than your gun example though. More like getting convicted of murder based solely on circumstantial evidence. Just because no one saw you do it, does not mean you did not do it.
  • 1 3
 @tubby1536: LOL. "you don't know if it's right or wrong"? really? being judged guilty with no evidence is something you are unsure about?

It isn't really any more nuanced, that's just something you're saying so you don't have to take a stand. it's the cowards position. You are inherently afraid of being forced to defend your opinion, so you never state one. Your example is part and parcel for this type of thinking! you think it's OK to convict someone of murder with literal zero concrete evidence? purely circumstantial is enough to you? Because you're convinced they *mustof* done it? you understand that liberal western democracies have a principle that it's better to let a guilty man go, than to wrongly convict an innocent one, right??
  • 3 0
 @conoat: Guns have a lot more uses than premeditated homicide. They're fun to shoot, can be used for hunting or pest control, and give you the ability to defend yourself if someone else threatens you. I would think a gun owner would know this.

Steroids are good for... Like, maybe if you just like the way pills look? Oh, and banned performance enhancement.

Get off that freedom BS. Racers sign up to follow a set of rules, and those rules are very well publicized.. Nobody is being put in jail, they're being told by an organization that they are no longer welcome at their events. He is still welcome at races that choose not to place themselves under the USADA's jurisdiction. Do your "liberal values" support telling races who they must allow in?
  • 3 0
 @conoat: I am not sure what you are getting so worked up about. Attacking someone for being a coward for stating some facts about ways to get busted for doping is a strange flex. I did not realize I needed to take a stand and post an black and white opinion on every post.

Here is my opinion since you asked for it. I don't see how he has been judged guilty with no evidence. There was a tip, there was an investigation and a determination that he doped based on the evidence collected. Specific to this case, what I don't know, and can't pass judgment on because it is not available, is what evidence USADA has and used to determine the doping. USADA believes it is enough to sanction him, but with out seeing the full details I can't say if his conviction is fair or not.

A positive test is only one form of evidence. I have no problem with someone getting punished for doping if the alternative evidence supports it.

My opinion on this case is the guy doped, but not because USADA says so, but because of his statement, in which he does not proclaim to be innocent and he alludes to not knowing the substances were in his supplements.
  • 179 12
 There is nothing more pathetic in sport than doping in amatuer masters level competition.
  • 56 8
 Well, there's being caught with a shitload of doping pills and then argue that you couldn't contest the ruling because of Covid...
  • 17 4
 How about his excuse? That's pretty pathetic, lmao
  • 17 2
 @zonoskar: I’m confused why it’s pathetic to not be able to contest the ruling due to travel restrictions?

Even if he’s guilty, if you are usually allowed to contest, then why wouldn’t they give him a temp ban until he can have a formal meeting in person whenever borders are back open?
  • 7 0
 Do you think that someone needs to wait until they are pro to start doping? Seems like it would be good to learn how to dope while you’re still racing in the sport class so you can be a pro at riding and doping.
  • 11 2
 @nvranka: A meeting in person? What's stopping him from asking for a virtual meeting on Zoom, MS Teams, Webex? Courts are doing that right now, so what's stopping the accused?
  • 3 5
 USADA Needs to justify themselves somehow. Since they are being paid off by the high profile athletes, they can’t go after them
  • 6 8
 nah, I am sure that every master that has ever beaten me has been doping, does that mean I get the win now, that means a lot to me. I wonder if one of his masters competitors dobbed him in, probably took him out for a curry the night before too. I still race 26 as I cant afford a new bike, these other guys are mechanically doping. Plus my tyres are really old and my rims dented. Wheels bucked and I just about have brake pads.
  • 14 0
 He may be performing as an amateur but his deniability game is at a world-class level. Following the same strategy as the best.
  • 4 2
 @CaptainSnappy: I have never claimed to know how this process works....is a virtual meeting available for this? Did they offer him one?

You’re saying obvious shit, but I’m not sure that you know it was even offered/possible.

I don’t care one way or another personally
  • 4 1
 @nvranka: Compare it to testing positive for pot, cocaine, heroine, meth, valium, and booze, then claiming it was all due second hand smoke at your kids kindergarten party.
  • 4 0
 It's basically doping for beer league kickball. Pathetic for sure
  • 5 0
 Yeah, and he’s 52. If these sanctions go back to 2010, that means he was still in his 40s. You would think a 40-year-old dude would have something better to do than cheat to win amateur races. But it probably goes back to when he was younger, too. Old habits and all.

Or it could be he’s the dope dealer to younger pros. I don’t know. I do know this. It seems like whenever these athletes get caught, it’s always a contaminated substance that they didn’t know was contaminated.
  • 2 4
 Well, even more pathetic is the coward who sent "an anymous tip". If you're suspecting somebody to cheat, go talk face to face or at least take responsibility for your actions.
  • 5 4
 "spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this sport"

Yeahhhh I'm still leaning towards he's a rich douche. Chill riders don't say stupid things like how much money they spend. That's what entitled people do when they experience a rare situation when things don't go their way.

"WELL IF YOU'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE CARE OF ME, I'LL JUST BRING MY MONEY ELSEWHERE AND YOU'RE GOING TO REGRET IT BECAUSE I HAVE SO MUCH OF IT!"
  • 140 4
 "Spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this sport".

That's a lot of drugs.
  • 24 2
 or e-bikes
  • 29 0
 Given his Instagram tone and perspectives, I'm going to say it's a lot of testosterone and anabolic steroids
  • 15 1
 Support him or not, the hundreds of thousands of dollars statement was pretty funny.
  • 17 0
 @vemegen: About 8 ebikes.
  • 9 0
 If that's his defense argument, he needs new legal counsel.
  • 10 0
 He was on so much gear, he could've flown to Norway and back without even using a plane!
  • 5 0
 "I'll take a pound of drugs"


"THATS A LOT OF DRUGS!"
  • 3 0
 @j-t-g: You want fries with that, baby?!
  • 1 1
 @CaptainSnappy: rudy giuliani
  • 1 0
 @vemegen: There's a difference?

(Time for me to get downvoted)
  • 72 3
 Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.
1. Truth - The guy got reported to USAC for violations.
2, Truth - He DID sign the acceptance of punishment
3. Truth - He did NOT have to sign off as accepting punishment but he did
4. Pinkbike did publish image of a needle implying he was directly injecting & caught

Now...the WTF stuff:
1. WTF - Norway for USADA?
2. WTF - An attorney whose dictation is from Siri ?
3. WTF - Norway???? Norway.
  • 3 0
 lol
  • 9 1
 To be fair, many of the items he was accused of taking are for subcutaneous use only. Oral ingestion would render zero benefit. Such as IGF-1, HGH, and HCG. Adding in that, I believe it would be difficult to take a urine analysis showing conclusive evidence of use. In that regard, I believe a urine analysis is warranted, as the remaining compounds would show up quite apperant.
  • 6 0
 He never said whether he was caught with them in his possession at an event, just that they didn’t test him.
  • 10 0
 No, @pinkbike does not have to worry about implying anything because Aivazian has already accepted his suspension which is tantamount to an admission of guilt.

Why he proposes that he can fly to Norway to contest a racing suspension during a global pandemic is ridiculous. Besides, what's stopping him from using Zoom or the 20 other online meeting apps to accomplish the same goal?
  • 7 0
 Have never heard of "Norway". Maybe lawyer is trying to allude to the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in Switzerland? Either way CAS has a court in New York and I don't think they have jurisdiction over USADA or US Cycling, only international events involving the IOC? (Olympics and perhaps Olympic trials?).

It's like the lawyer wants to allude to this overseeing international body in Norway because he knows if he wrote Switzerland and this went public everyone in sports industry would laugh because there actually is not recourse to CAS and there could be malpractice issues or something.
  • 12 0
 @dr-airtime: agreed "Norway" is a made up place or sure
  • 6 0
 He should have rode to Norway, wouldn't take long on that cocktail.
  • 2 0
 maybe this guy could get on Mullet Bikes Big Grin
  • 8 0
 this guy doesn't even have his excuses right. the "tainted supplements" is for when you test positive. He claims there were no tests but somehow tainted supplements caused someone to drop the dime on his juicing. GTFO.
  • 5 0
 @Nairnster: Whoa whoa whoa, no reason to make this personal, is it?

Besides, we have great trails here. And brown cheese.
  • 1 1
 @lowgear: Brown cheese?

I'm googling it now.

...."A few other blogs I've read describe the taste as “salty goat's fudge” "
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: Goat and cows milk blend and some variants with only cow milk for the faint of heart. It's the bomb on freshly baked bread, but it's safe to say it's an acquired taste.
  • 1 0
 @lowgear: apparently you have skinnies even sicker than here on the North Shore! No international doping court though! Also an offshore oil slush fund and plenty of skinny skis missing rear bindings!
  • 61 11
 Are the substances he’s accused of using administered via injections? Or is Pinkbike taking on the clickbait trend of “journalism”????
  • 15 2
 That is what I want to know. Or, were they just store bought supplements like whey protein for shakes with banned additives. Supplements are not regulated much, so companies can/do put questionable stuff in their supplement products.
  • 3 0
 some are, not all
  • 8 1
 Judging by the list on the previous article I would suggest that it would be quite hard for him to have unknowingly have ingested them, Nandrolone is administered as an injection rather than oral.
I guess there’s a chance he has been seeing a ‘rejuvenation/youthfulness’ doctor but they often prescribed large amounts of testosterone, anabolic steroids, Growth Hormone, etc which still doesn’t allow them to be used in sport.

Lots of athletes visit this clinics as it’s a legit (if expensive) way of legally getting the drugs you want.
  • 9 2
 @CustardCountry: He was never tested, soooo how do they conclude he was using anything?
  • 2 4
 @SLBIKES: Nowadays, they put too much legitimacy in the accuser without getting facts first. Like always, there is more to the story. Follow-up articles to come.
  • 3 1
 @CustardCountry: maybe he didn't ingest them but got them from his blood boy:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBA0AH-LSbo
  • 1 0
 PB is DB education for MTB
  • 2 0
 @SLBIKES: ask him and he’ll tell you.
  • 1 0
 @CustardCountry: You are not correct. Nandrolone can be injected or taken orally.

Here is a research article by FIFA (football association) on Nandrolone. This is a direct quote from the article in the section Nandrolone in nutritional supplements (Page 2).

"Laboratories investigated the actual composition of supplements available on the internet, in shops, or in fitness clubs, and found both hormonal and non-hormonal dietary supplements are mislabeled and may contain anabolic-androgenic steroids or prohormones. The information about ingredients is generally suppressed in order to deceive sportsmen. "

img.fifa.com/image/upload/ho81xudgsogjyqqgws6u.pdf
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: you’d have to be very unlucky to accidentally ingest all of the listed substances
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry: Not saying the guy is innocent, but he still hasn't been blood or urine tested. So they don't know if those substances are indeed in his body.
  • 24 1
 What’s some easily available stuff I could buy that would just allow me to ride multiple days in a row without feeling like I got hit by a freight train? I don’t race, or strava.
  • 68 4
 Conditioning, weight training, good diet and stretching. All this can be on the cheap.
  • 13 1
 @makripper: I’m pretty sure Lance tried that, at first.
  • 11 0
 @makripper: Lame... I want recreational EPO!
  • 4 0
 Easily available stuff? Eggs, a bike, a bed, 2 bottles of 5/10 litres of water for exercise and a bit of constancy I guess.
  • 6 1
 Ibuprofen helps a lot!
  • 1 0
 @grizwald: So when you want to train beyond what's physiologically possible without doping, then doping is justifiable?
  • 6 0
 I'm no scientist but might I recommend saving your money and riding your bike every day? That is literally how you train your body to recover from riding daily.
  • 4 0
 @used-couch-salesman: mountain biking doesn't work your whole body. Even basic things like plank and pushups can help your upper body alot
  • 2 0
 Plenty of magnesium supplements, and Sport Legs. Also epsom salt baths at night before bed will help too. Tons of water and electrolytes (if sweating a lot). Otherwise just keep training. Wink
  • 33 0
 coccaine and red bulls.
  • 3 0
 I think doing the extra long ride w/ lots of vertical climbing regularly helps a lot. Regular rides will seem much easier. No pain, no gain is quite a true statement especially in mtb-ing.
  • 1 1
 @Jmorgue: That is a banned substance and you would be banned.
  • 8 0
 An e-bike
  • 5 1
 @tgrummon: if you live in the US you can just visit a clinic that specialises in helping middle aged snd older people regain their youth.
Lots of young people use them. Testosterone, steroids, HGH and EPO for the right price. All legit and above board pharmaceutical grade drugs complete with a real prescription from a real doctor.
  • 1 0
 @tgrummon: giving those “midnight rides” a whole different meaning
  • 3 0
 Try google Belgian pot. Alternatively the ingredients of a Tripper Snipper are pretty close
  • 3 2
 @makripper: Mountain biking 100% doesn't work your entire body, assuming you're riding right and not being a passenger on two wheels.
  • 10 3
 1: Whey protein ingested after a big ride.
2: BCAA's ingested during a ride/before bed
3: Electrolytes consumed during ride
4: Foam rolling/stretching
5: Training in the gym like an animal.
6. Getting 8+ hours of sleep

Also, skip the post-ride beers.
  • 4 0
 Viagra.
  • 3 0
 A healthy diet, regular and consistent training and lots of sleep. Best thing is that all of these things come for free and none of it is illegal.
  • 3 2
 If you are older than 35 or so and don't want any more kids, go to a "mens wellness clinic" or similar and get on TRT. Bring you back to the levels you had when you were 20.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: Time is arguably the most expensive resource.
  • 3 2
 @makripper: Wait, I mean to say it *does* work your whole body. Apparently I can't type.
  • 4 0
 @willyheff: I called my doctor after an erection lasted 4 hour, he said, fck yeah
  • 2 0
 @fullendurbro: I was all in until #7. Maybe I’ll be just a halfendurobro.
  • 2 0
 @fullendurbro: it's more legs than anything else. Working out your full body will help with riding dynamics and overall strength to endure downhills and power through tech sections. Core workouts definitely help me hold stupid lines better lol
  • 2 0
 @iridedj: agreed. Thats why I'm am hours before work training in my home gym lol
  • 2 0
 @tincancharlie: Hahaha, probably should amend that one to be something more like, "Let post-ride beers be a celebration, rather than the norm."

For me, it got to the point where I would have a beer after every ride last summer, and when you're riding 6 days a week, that's a lot of beer that can hamper recovery and growth.
  • 4 1
 @makripper: I guess I should amend my statement a third time. I agree with you for XC and consistent efforts. However, gravity racing (dh/enduro) involve very powerful riding styles that definitely use your whole body. It starts to feel a lot more like wrestling when you're hauling through rock gardens at 30mph while on a 160/140 bike, or when you're pulling up out of a berm compression. Even for trail riding, some places like Moab require you to go anaerobic while jumping up on ledges that are 18 inches tall.
  • 2 0
 @Jmorgue: I was gonna say about 800 mg of ibuprofen a day...
  • 2 0
 A road bike.
  • 1 0
 @Highlander406: Good point. Commuting a few hundred miles a month will do wonders for your endurance you can pretty much eat as much as you want.
  • 52 34
 PB shouldn't have posted the guy's name, and they shouldn't have posted this either
  • 23 4
 It's public information. How is this any different than a news organization using someone's name in a story when it is public?
  • 12 0
 all sanctions are public record and posted on www.usada.org/news/sanctions
  • 20 45
flag Monsterman156 (Apr 28, 2021 at 8:04) (Below Threshold)
 Doxing is woke AF and PNW Pinkbike is #wokeaf
  • 18 4
 @Monsterman156: If information is publicly available and relevant to the story it's not really doxing. PB didn't post the guys place of work, business, home address, etc. They only posted the relevant information to the story.
  • 55 9
 @HB208: because using the supplements this guy allegedly took isn't illegal. He committed no crime. And he's not a professional racer trying to be a model for the sport - he's just some random amateur racer who took some supplements. A private entity decided that they don't want those substances used in races they sanction. And that private entity alleged guilt based on information that wouldn't have stood any chance whatsoever of achieving a conviction in an actual criminal court. So now this random, amateur racer's name has been dragged through the mud by both the USADA and Pinkbike based on no real proof and for something that isn't illegal.
  • 15 33
flag Monsterman156 (Apr 28, 2021 at 8:09) (Below Threshold)
 @HB208: I dont really care about this guy or his info. But Pinkebike is #woke
  • 15 1
 @toast2266: You also sign up for the rules of the private entity when you sign up to race. You are not required to participate in downhill mountain biking races that are sanctioned international cycling organizations.
  • 9 4
 @toast2266: Not to mention that caffeine isn't even regulated. As far as I'm concerned, WADA is as effective as gun control in the USA.
  • 20 2
 Seriously. MTB content has been down a bit all through the pandemic; is this why we're getting multiple articles about some random old guy taking a supplement he shouldn't have? Complete with a staged photo of pills, a syringe, and an ominous vial?
  • 6 0
 @toast2266:Since we dont know how he was caught or accused of taking it is pretty hard to have an opinion either way.

His response was more of the line, couldn't go to Norway so took the deal. Does he actually say he did not take any banned substances?

Also, did he refuse to pee in a cup/blood test? Or were they never offered. If he refused then he is kinda in the same position as a drunk driver who refuses to blow and get licence suspended anyway. then later says he was not guilty.
  • 21 4
 @HB208: by all means, ban the guy from racing if he took banned substances. But don't drag his name through the mud in public.

Meth and heroin dealers get less press than this guy.
  • 8 0
 @toast2266: I guess that is fair, but I also think Pinkbike should post these things to ensure other riders know the consequences of playing loose with banned substances.
  • 8 4
 @HB208: and I'd be 100% fine with pinkbike posting this if they'd just referred to "an amateur master's class racer in California" rather than using the guy's name. But now if you Google his name, the top hits are about doping. That's a pretty harsh punishment for an amateur racer that took some supplements. It's a good thing he's old enough that he's probably not applying for jobs because at this point, he's unemployable.
  • 4 1
 @toast2266: That is fair. However, it would have also showed up on the USADA site. If someone was doing a background check, they would have found it. The second result when you google his name is the USADA website article.
  • 2 2
 @toast2266: couldn’t agree more.
  • 6 2
 @HB208: I don't think the USADA should have published his name either. While amateur racers should be held to the same standards as pros with regard to using banned substances, the consequences for a violation shouldn't be the same. Ban them, but don't broadcast their names.

Amateurs don't stand to actually win anything of value when they race. If they break the rules, the consequences of their cheating should be proportionate to what they stood to gain in the race (i.e. very little).
  • 6 2
 @toasyt2266: Why? If you sign up for USADA sanctioned races you are agreeing to their rules. When you test positive for 10 banned substances, it is hard to argue a "woops, this protein powder I was taking had a banned substance and I wasn't aware." If you are a amateur racer concerned that you might test positive for banned substances, you can always choose to not participate. The issue with "oh well, they are just amateur racers" is that amateur racing is how you work your way up to the pro level. No one starts racing in the pro division without working their way through the amateur divisions. Now, I know he is older and will never be a pro, but you can't have different rules for different portions of amateurs.
  • 5 4
 @toast2266: it is quite hard to accidentally inject yourself with an illegal substance without knowing about it.
  • 9 2
 @HB208: when you sign up, you agree to not take banned substances. But you don't agree to a specific set of consequences if you're caught. You don't agree to have your name published on the biggest mountain biking website in the world for a violation.

The consequences should be proportionate to the violation. In this case, they're not. A ban from racing is proportionate. Rescinding his past results is proportionate. Publishing a press release that hundreds of thousands of people will see that gives his name and labels him as a doper is not proportionate for some random amateur racer.
  • 5 2
 @CustardCountry: the substances we're talking about aren't illegal. They're banned by the USADA, but the USADA isn't a governmental entity. The USADA doesn't make any laws, and you will never go to jail for violating any USADA rule.
  • 3 1
 @toast2266: pretty sure you can’t buy Nandrolone without a prescription. And it’s illegal to buy prescription drugs without a pre
  • 4 2
 @CustardCountry: how do you know he doesn't have a prescription?
  • 4 0
 @toast2266: You would think that would be an important addition to his defense/response.
  • 6 2
 @fabwizard: or maybe this is just confirmation that this guy's name should never have been published, because now the pinkbike comment section is gossiping about some amateur racer's prescription medications, which is bullshit.
  • 2 4
 @HB208: its called having a little class
  • 2 1
 @toast2266: I am really torn on the publish vs not issue.

My thought is why should it make a difference Pro vs. amateur?

Also, is the issue Pinkers/the internet or the publishing of the name.

I would tend to side with the problem is actually the general public/pinkers/internet, most comments would not happen if they had to say it to their face.
  • 5 2
 @fabwizard: pros are (hopefully) making money off of racing. They're vying for sponsorships. Companies use them for marketing purposes, which means the bike buying public looks up to them. If they're doping, the sport looks bad and, too some extent, the industry as a whole suffers. Thus, the consequences of pro doping are potentially significant. So the consequences for doping in the pro class need to account for the problems that arise if doping goes unchecked.

None of that really applies to amateurs. When some masters class amateur racer dopes, the only people who care as the gossipy people like us in internet comment sections. There are no real consequences outside of maybe some slightly skewed results in a couple of races that don't matter. The consequences for his doping should follow accordingly. Ban him and rescind his results. But publicly naming him accomplishes nothing that a press release that didn't include his name wouldn't also accomplish.
  • 3 0
 @ream720: FYI - WADA monitors, approves, regulates and sanctions the national-level drug testing agencies so all testing and jurisdiction in the US is under USADA. There isn't much WADA can do. It's more a figurehead. Issue is with USADA.
  • 1 0
 @dr-airtime: my bad, thanks for correcting my false terminology!
  • 5 2
 @toast2266: "None of that really applies to amateurs. When some masters class amateur racer dopes, the only people who care as the gossipy people like us in internet comment sections. There are no real consequences outside of maybe some slightly skewed results in a couple of races that don't matter."

I just said why this isn't true. Amateurs turn into pros. If they did not look for doping because it "doesn't really matter" an doping amateur could very likely be taking away pro level opportunities from a clean amateur.
  • 3 1
 @toast2266: I think you make some good points, but to me it all boils down to fairness. You say that the punishment must fit the crime, but let's not forget he may have unfairly denied clean athletes a better result. That isn't right, especially if they are investing huge amounts of time and money into trying the best they can. No, we're not all vying for first place in the ews/dh world Cup, but results matter a great deal to those involved. To minimise his (alleged) doping also minimises the hurt he's likely caused a lot of people.
  • 5 3
 @HB208: if a doping amateur goes pro, then they should be held to the higher standards of a pro.

And I'm not in any way arguing that amateurs should be allowed to dope. I'm just saying that doping amateurs shouldn't be publicly shamed. They should be banned from racing, but not outed on pinkbike. Mistakes they make in their recreational activities shouldn't have drastic effects on their completely unrelated professional life.
  • 3 1
 @toast2266: Pros already are held to higher standards. Amateurs should still be disciplined if things happen and I don't necessarily think that amateurs should have a higher expectation of privacy than pros when it comes to doping.
  • 4 2
 @HB208: what benefit was accomplished by publicly naming him that wouldn't have been accomplished by banning him and putting out a press release that kept his name anonymous?

Clearly there's a huge negative impact on his reputation from being publicly named. So what benefit was achieved for that cost?
  • 4 1
 @toast2266: For him? Probably not a whole lot. For an up and coming amateur racer, notifying potential sponsors that he/she has tested positive for banned substances.
  • 2 0
 I dont think they had a choice in posting this because they posted his name.
  • 2 3
 @HB208: if an up and coming amateur racer is banned from racing, I don't think sponsors are going be tripping over themselves to hook that person up. Publicly shaming them isn't really necessary.
  • 5 2
 @toast2266: How exactly would they know if a amateur racer was banned for doping if they never publicly stated so? That racer could go into the "influence" side of the sport and the sponsors would never know. There is a reason this information should be public. I also think it is helpful for other racing organizations that do not abide by USADA for whatever reason to know.
  • 4 1
 @HB208: so you're completely comfortable with a private, non-governmental organization publicly naming and shaming someone and effectively making them unemployable because that person might have done something that was completely legal, but went against the rules of that private organization?

If you're willing to let a private company do that, I'd hate to see what you're willing to let the actual government get away with.
  • 1 2
 @toast2266: If I knowingly sign up for that private organization, then yes. USADA is quasi-governmental though. It is a 501c3, but was founded by the US Olympic team and basically upholds the US's treaty commitment to anti-doping in international sports.
  • 1 1
 @toast2266: Well he lives in the States. If he was slandered by that private enterprise pretty sure he would sue, and given his name was dragged through the mud and they are aware that that would happen(Lance precedent) he would likely be able to retire a wealthy man.

So to answer your question the courts would be the checks and balances for this.

What is the difference between this and publicly dismissing an employee for alleged sexual misconduct.

You have something down there called freedom of speech as well that adds to the equation.

What about news reporters, what if his name was not made public, but the records were searchable. that news reporter finds the name of this amateur(because he is always looking for Pros who get suspended) and publishes his name. What is the difference between the association doing it and the news reporter? Same end result.
  • 4 0
 @toast2266: One more point, when getting his racing license he likely agreed to these rules/ punishment in the small print.

As an amateur he did not have to race. It was not his job.
  • 3 0
 @fabwizard: there's a difference between someone randomly finding out that this guy got accused of doping and the USADA putting out a press release with his name and then the biggest mountain biking website in the world publishing that on their front page.

All I'm saying is, this guy's life is effectively ruined. Everyone knows who he is, and everyone thinks he shot up a bunch of terrible drugs (even though all of the drugs he supposedly took are legal). That's a pretty harsh punishment for some random guy who raced bikes recreationally.

Does he deserve to get penalized for doping? If he actually did it, yes. Does the punishment here fit the crime? Not at all.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: I mentioned it somewhere else.

Who is at fault for the public backlash the media or the public.

I'm sorry but you see on a regular basis the pinkers rip apart a company or a product here. I think the problem is society itself, not the making public a cheaters name. I blame the anonymous nature of the internet not those who released the name. that is the real problem.
  • 3 1
 @toast2266: He owns his own business. His life is not effectively ruined. I don't know what to tell you. Everyone knows that if you race, dope, and get caught the consequence, there are consequences. Don't participate in officially sanctioned events if you don't want consequences like your name being made public in an official USADA report.
  • 2 0
 @HB208: sure, everyone knows there are consequences. I just find it depressing how comfortable you are with the magnitude of the consequences.

When there's a news story about some guy who's in prison for 20 years because he was caught with $10 worth of weed, you're making the exact same argument as the people who say "well he shouldn't have smoked weed - it's illegal."
  • 1 2
 @toast2266: Did the guy go to prison for doping?
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: Even though this may be the biggest Mt bike website in the world, it is just a drop in the bucket for any published media. The actual number of people who read that article on Pinkbike was very small. More likely shared etc... on FaceTwitter way more than anyone ready here.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: pinkbike gets something like 70 million page views a month. That might be a drop in the bucket, but it's still a big drop.

But more importantly, all this doping stuff is the first thing that pops up when you Google the guy's name. And it'll almost certainly be that way forever.

Compare that to the French (pro) racer that someone mentioned elsewhere in the comments. Caught doping. Banned. Not publicly named. The guy served out his ban and can now go about his life.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: Really? Because when you google Rémy Di Grégorio (the french rider recently banned for doping) the ban is the third thing that shows up.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: Ok lets turn this around.

How do people who need to know, find out an amateur has been caught doping.

Race organizers, sponsors, accounting school, law school, medical school etc...
  • 1 0
 @ream720: no prob. USADA is very legitimate now. They banned Christian Coleman for missing 6 out-of-competition tests in 2 years (technically 3 misses in 12 months).
  • 2 1
 @fabwizard: why does anyone other than (maybe) sponsors need to know? What he did wasn't illegal. He broke rules set by a private organization.

If I go to a race and cut the course, that's also against the rules of racing. I cheated, even though I haven't broken any laws. Are you concerned that my employer won't know about that?

I wore my shoes inside the house yesterday. That's against my wife's rules of the house. Do you have any advice on how we can broadly disseminate the details of my transgression so that anyone I might ever associate with can easily find out that I broke rules set by someone that has only has rule making authority by virtue of a private contract?
  • 2 1
 @toast2266: In this case was it all legal? What about all cases? Remember we are discussing all cases even though this is the one that sparked the discussion.

Many other organizations have rules of conduct for their members. I am a Canadian CPA, if I am convicted of a crime, even though it was not financial I am at risk of having my designation stripped. I can get my designation stripped for things as well that are not illegal, but detrimental to my organization. I would lose my job etc...

So how do we let the people know who need it, while not letting the general public roast them, I dont know.
  • 3 0
 @fabwizard: from what I've seen, it was all legal. But if it wasn't, then the actual authorities can charge him with a crime and he'll get his due process.

As far as how to let the appropriate people know? Simple: you ban him from racing. Take away his racing license. Race organizers know that he isn't allowed to race because he doesn't have a license. If he can't race, he's not gonna get any sponsors.

Done. No public shaming needed, because no one other than race organizers and (maybe) sponsors need to know about this.
  • 1 1
 @fabwizard: I'm an American CPA and same. I'd imagine potential employers would also want to know if I was on 10 banned substances after I followed rules set by the governing body. There are also rules that the AICPA and state boards set that are not "illegal", but if I violated them it would be a big no no from a licensure standpoint.
  • 1 1
 @toast2266: it's a little odd how much people are okay with this shaming culture, especially when done by private companies for things that aren't illegal. I dislike cheaters as much as anyone, but take away his license and that should be it. Posting articles with pictures of needles when he never even directly failed a test seems strange to me. This dude is a nobody, I just don't understand the thinking here. This stuff is going to backfire on us.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: I think you may have answered your own point.

Without publishing the name how would the police know who did it?

In addition, what if there are alternate race organizations? How would they find out? I know in my younger days there wasn't just Cycling BC(UCI affiliate).

The public shaming is actually the public and media. It is not like they took an add out on Pinkbike and said shame. It was pinkbike and the pinkers who did the shaming. It is a problem with our society that has come about since the internet. How do you fix that?
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: I am not ok with the shaming culture. But that is not what the organization did, they published in their site the name and rules broken, and their punishment.

It was the media and public who shamed him.
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: I don't understand why it is so hard to grasp that you enter into a set of agreements when you join a private organization. Something does not need to be explicitly against the law to be illegal. I also am pretty sure black market testosterone is illegal though.
  • 3 0
 @toast2266: how exactly would they ban him from racing without making his name public? Obviously race organizers would need to know and then it’s public.
  • 2 0
 @fabwizard: how do the police know that anyone did anything? Either the police do their own investigation based on information they have, or the usada turns over the information they have to the police, and the police can followup as they see fit. None of that requires a press release. Hell, in a lot of countries it's illegal to publish the names of criminal suspects until they're proven guilty in a court of law.

If there are alternate race organizations, they're more than welcome to privately share information with each other. They can recognize another organization's ban. The sharing of that information doesn't need to be publicly disseminated though. Because like I've said, there's very little need for the public to know this information (at least with respect to amateur racers), and there's a substantial negative consequence to releasing it.

The only benefit to releasing the information publicly is that pinkbike gets a lot of page views from people who like to gossip about this stuff, and everyone in the comment section gets to feel morally superior because they didn't take any banned substances, unlike this horrible, horrible person that totally deserves to have his name dragged through the mud because he entered a race while trying to get swole, which is totally against the rules, and he should have known that because of the fine print.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: Sorry, brain fart. I meant to say something doesn't need to be explicitly against the law to be a violation of private rules for an organization you belong to.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: POTENTIAL SPONSORS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW. Jeez, amateur racers sometimes become pro.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: In either case turning over the info to the police or another association you have just made it public(police records are public). But making public(publishing on their website) does not crucify the person.

It is the public that crucified them.

I feel like you have a problem with what the public is doing with the information but not with the actual publishing the name.
  • 2 0
 @fabwizard: there is an enormous difference between information the public can technically find if they're looking for it, and information that is put out in a press release, emailed to the world's largest biking website, and published on that site's front page.

And while it doesn't really matter in this context, the police would only make his name publicly searchable if he was charged with an offense. Which generally means they have actual evidence that he committed an actual crime.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: your technically correct but only defending the integrity of bigger db's
  • 11 1
 No idea if the guy is actually guilty, but how many times have we heard the lame-ass excuse of "I didn't know what was in the supplements I was taking." ? Or, the equally silly "I accidentally took a sip from some doper's water bottle." They're comically overused claims, and hardly believable.
  • 3 0
 Only every time.
  • 3 3
 The other possibility is that this common excuse is true, and exactly what's happening, and it's actually really hard for athletes to navigate the complicated rules and avoid the wide variety of banned substances. I don't know if this true, but it is a possibility.
  • 4 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: USADA has at least a few pages talking about the dangers of supplements, as well as a lookup tool embedded in a website and a mobile app to search for your supplements.

The guy's response is sort of all over the place. It starts off as "no one tested me, and there's no proof that i did anything prohibited",he really should have stopped at that point. Because that's the main point, right?

Adding in the "well you know... no one REALLY knows what's in the supplements, i'm just taking them because i think they help me" makes it sound like he's trying to push an excuse.
  • 2 1
 @chorpie: Good points. I don't know the details of what's banned or what resources are available to racers. But from the outside looking in, it does look complicated. I'm just saying that I general. This guy certainly looks shady. And if you're going to be serious about racing in this day and age, you play the game and follow the rules. No excuses.
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: With you, 100%
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: seems like the safest option is no supplements at all. I used to love pre-workout for weight training. Some of them were insanely powerful and every year more would be banned for illegal stimulants lol. Jack3d and Craze were legit insane, definitely felt like drugs.
  • 9 0
 The requirement to arbitrate in Norway seems highly suspect. I cannot find any requirement on their site, where arbitration is required it is in front of AAA (American Arbitration Association). Likewise, USADA is explicit in disputes being before AAA.

It is highly unlikely a court would uphold and out of country arbitration clause between a US Corporation and US resident for acts that occurred in the US. It stinks of forum shopping to prevent a full and fair hearing.

The fact that his “attorney” seems to have no name only makes it more suspect.
  • 4 8
flag tacklingdummy (Apr 28, 2021 at 9:25) (Below Threshold)
 Not saying the guy is innocent or guilty, but he wasn't even blood/urine tested for the banned substances. That brings up some red flags. Perhaps, the USADA was mad that he didn't buy their endorsed/sponsored product supplements and bought a bunch some other company's supplements. Lol.
  • 3 1
 @tacklingdummy: I made a comment on this. Did he refuse the test or was it not offered???/
  • 8 1
 @tacklingdummy: Dude, he signed a confession. Why would they test him?
  • 2 2
 @jayacheess: I believe the confession was last minute before the hearing not at the time of being caught.
  • 4 1
 @fabwizard: Right. I guess the timeline was such that he was reported a significant time after he was racing. They were reviewing his case over the winter, and they claim to have hard evidence that he had purchased and was in possession of these substances. Whether he definitely used them would be up to a test, which may not yield results, as he would have had time to stop taking them and let them work through his system.

I guess I'm not sure how this would have worked out had they actually gone to arbitration. Might he have been able to use the defense that they didn't actually test him? He opted not to go, however, claiming it would have taken place in Norway, in person - which is the biggest WTF, and red flag in his argument. Literally every proceeding of this type is allowing video conference attendance.
  • 4 1
 @tacklingdummy: Given the questionability of his other statements and he signed the agreement the day before the arbitration, it is safe to say, at best we are being fed less than the full truth.

www.lawinsport.com/topics/news/item/u-s-cycling-athlete-vahe-aivazian-accepts-sanction-for-anti-doping-rule-violation

Not a fan of USAC, but there is a lot of information and transparency missing on both sides.
  • 1 6
flag tacklingdummy (Apr 28, 2021 at 12:02) (Below Threshold)
 @jayacheess: There was a reasonable reason he signed it from his statement. They were requiring him to fly to Norway for arbitration and would have deemed him guilty whether he signed it or not. Signing the document may of been a plea bargain. More to the story. Lots of details missing.
  • 4 1
 @tacklingdummy: The part about being required to fly to Norway for USADA arbitration is complete fiction.
  • 1 2
 @lowgear: How is that fiction? It says that above in his statement that he had to be in Norway for arbitration. Do you have a link to factually prove otherwise? I would like to see the information you are getting.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy:

www.usada.org/athletes/results/arbitration-decisions clearly states that arbitrations on violations on anti-doping rules are heard before the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). CAS is in Switzerland and is the appeals court for anti-doping. Which means the first arbitration would be before the American Arbitration Association. Of course, there might be a branch of the AAA in Norway, but I highly doubt it.
  • 1 1
 @lowgear: The arbitrations are carried out by independent arbitrators. The independent arbitrators determine a lot of the factors of the arbitrations including location. So, the independent arbitrator may have chosen Norway as the location for the arbitration. I highly doubt the guy would put in his public statement that states that he had to be in Norway for the arbitration. I'm sure his attorney guided and looked over the statement first and would not let a public statement go out with such a bold face lie. There has to be some truth to that statement.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: Funny tho how all the courts and arbitrators around the world are zooming but not this, come on, probably a half truth.


Go to Norway OR Zoom was much more likely
  • 4 1
 @tacklingdummy: maybe the arbitrator meant Norway, WV but he was too hopped up on “supplements” to understand.
  • 9 0
 "From my experience of over 20 years of racing can say most of us don’t know what dietary supplements contain and are sold over the counter at any local store or website."

Doesn't the FDA require ingredient lists on supplements?
  • 2 0
 Supplements have barely any regulation compared to other things. Idk if you were ever into weight training but there have been so many that got banned for illegal stuff that wasn't on the label. Jack3d and Craze were basically fruit flavored amphetamines in a fun looking container.
  • 8 0
 - No denial
- “Never tested positive” (because I signed a confession so there was no point)
- A general screed against usada designed to turn the reader against them in hopes you will by default support him
- No details of what happened or how he came to be accused of such extensive cheating

My favorite is the vague supplement excuse without recognizing that 1. That excuse is almost always used to explain a positive test, which he emphatically denies happened.
2. These “supplements” would have to be widely known or obviously labeled to contain banned substances for the witnesses to recognize and report the doping. This was no accident- at best it would be gross negligence.

I don’t know if dude ever took a banned substance intentionally or unintentionally. But he is regurgitating textbook examples of what guilty dopers say when their backs are against the wall, and he doesn’t even understand how those BS excuses are supposed to work.
  • 10 0
 Don't worry folks, this dude spent hundreds of thousands on mountain biking, case closed.
  • 8 2
 Considering that athletes who have made a claim about supplement mistakes or water bottle sharing have received much smaller bans...this would imply either USDA really got the sentencing wrong, or there was significant evidence for such a hefty ban. Who knows, but frankly if my name was being thrown around on the internet, Id want it to go away rather than stoke it up. No good has ever come from defending yourself on digital forums. If you accepted the ban, you accept the finding and need to go away and do your time.
  • 10 1
 "I swear, the tainted supplements just jumped into my shaker cup"
  • 5 1
 “I swear the intramuscular injection just jumped into my shaker cup”
  • 5 0
 The statement is notable both for what it says and doesn't. The attorney does not state that the rider did not use the supplements. Only that USDA did not prove use with a urine test. That is a classic tactic used by attorneys when they cannot deny that their client did what he was accused of. Having said that, proving use of the supplements based on the purchase of supplements alone seems troublesome to me for amateur atheletes.
  • 6 0
 His response is carefully worded to not actually deny that he bought and/or used any of the substances he is accused of taking. If he actually did not knowingly take any of these substances, he would have said so directly.
  • 5 0
 Exactly...he even mentions that he did sign acceptance form as well.
  • 5 0
 So the USADA and USA Cycling which were both involved in this suspension would make someone go to Norway for arbitration? Why? That literally makes no sense, Norway has no skin in the game and it seems very odd for to US based agencies to make someone leave the country for arbitration.
  • 1 0
 It makes less than zero sense. Here are the steps when you are accused of doping:

ufc.usada.org/wp-content/uploads/UFC-Arbitration-Graphic_EN.pdf

You will see that this is the firm that does arbitration for USADA.

www.mclarenglobalsportsolutions.com/arbitrators.php

They literally only have Canadian and US offices. I don't know how Norway has anything to do with this.
  • 5 0
 I skimmed through, but couldn't muster the strength to read more evasive legal BS.

Maybe I'm been "lanced" from too much Lance Armstrong controversy. These athletes seem to think the public has never heard others lying about sport doping.
  • 27 23
 This guy couldn't be bothered to hire a lawyer to proofread this 'statement'? And what does emigrating, getting citizenship and spending money have anything to do with the price of butter on a sunday? You got caught, a*shole. Take your punishment like a man instead of whining about it.
  • 15 3
 If they never tested him, how exactly did he get caught?

I don’t know anything about this stuff, but you seem to have your mind made up when the article was pretty ambiguous....help me.
  • 8 1
 @nvranka: So how would USADA know exactly what he was taking? Do you really think someone tipped them off and provided them with a detailed laundry list of all the things this guy was using? I guess anything is possible, but this guy is making it sound like the was accused by someone of doping and USADA took that as gospel and banned him for 4 years. I don't think that how this works. The US Cycling rules he talks about sure sound to me like the athletes are solely responsible for knowing what they put in their bodies at all times and it's up to them to be aware of what's allowed vs what's not.
  • 4 4
 @matadorCE ...has nothing to do with the price of butter on sunday because that literally doesn't matter. He was alluding to his long-time support of the sport and community. You couldn't be bothered to read critically?

I bet you were in the comments when Richie Rude got caught too, probably asking "This guy couldn't be bothered to chemically analyze the workout supplements he was taking?" People make mistakes and it's awful mighty of you to be handing out such hot-take judgement
  • 4 4
 Hire a lawyer for a bullshit nonstory? What the hell are you smoking?

Go be stupid somewhere else "like a man"
  • 7 3
 @Peally: If you're going to put out a public statement, learn what Public Relations means. Some free knowledge for your ass.
  • 2 1
 @matadorCE: ok, so you don’t know either. Np.
  • 1 2
 @matadorCE: Sorry, I can't legally accept any of your 12 IQ commentary unless it comes from your lawyer.
  • 2 0
 @Peally: Was that supposed to be a burn? Sounds like you need some PR help yourself
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: He signed a confession, so he is either guilty or dumb
  • 9 2
 You know who else did a lot for cycling before getting caught? Ol' one ball Lance.
  • 8 0
 He doesn't deny taking the substances, which I find strange...
  • 8 0
 Note that his statement does not include any denial of doping.
  • 4 0
 "even after growing an extra testicle on my chest and having hair grow on the soles of my feet, I never for a second suspected that the dietary supplement I was taking was full of illegal performance enhancing substances."
"The name of the supplement?..Mega-nut-bust-3000-extreme. it's full of vitamins"
  • 7 0
 Said every crack dealer before
  • 11 4
 Somebody isn't happy, roid rage by chance?
  • 4 0
 This 52 year old dude who looks like a veiny brick shithouse, bulging everywhere - like a bundle of roots wrapped in saran wrap - is denying that he took banned substances? f*ck right off.
  • 8 1
 if there is no piss, you must dismiss!
  • 7 4
 Vahe was always a really cool guy at the Southridge races when I was starting to race, I haven’t seen him for several years since I stopped racing but I’m sure he still is a great guy to speak to and share a lift up the hill with. For everyone spitting insults at him, please realize that even if he was to have actually been taking banned substances, they weren’t to gain an edge over his 50+ year old competitors in downhill racing but rather so he would look good and feel good in general life. I can’t believe there is malicious intent in his alleged actions. Vahe was a cool enough guy that I still remembered him from the races even after a whole decade of being away from the scene, I’m sure many other racers can say the same.
  • 9 1
 Good points, if he's a cool guy then this is fine. Especially if he was only taking the banned substances to look good and feel good.
  • 3 0
 Not to bash him, but checking out his IG, before it went private, it was pretty obvious he was running some test at least from his pictures. A 50 year old man does not have muscle tissue like that naturally. If anything it was maybe doctor prescribed TRT but I guess the anti doping rules are rules and TRT or not its against guidelines.
  • 3 0
 I am disappointed by the lack of personal responsibility here. Buying and taking supplements that are not well-studied and often not validated for content and purity by a 3rd party is on the person who does the ingesting. If you choose to trust bad sources (websites, health food store workers, wellness coaches, etc.) who recommend supplements but have no actual qualification to make such recommendation, that’s on you for trusting a charlatan. Truthfully, it’s also on the people who make such recommendations but have no business in doing so. There are a lot of people who think they’re experts, and think they understand, but are doing actual harm with their ridiculous ideas. But ultimately I think it comes down to the consumer to take responsibility for the things they put in their body. If you don’t know, don’t put it in your body. Ignorance is not an excuse.
  • 3 0
 BTW, doping is bad for your health and should not be promoted but at the amateur level, the sport is far from fair anyway. The pros have some kinda level playing field regarding equipment, accommodation and time to train. On the amateur side, you have richer racer with the latest bikes and gears sleeping in nice hotel and having lots of time to train and you have a full-time worker with kids, wife, no time to train, beat-up bike, sleeping in his car at the race venue... Maybe if we would celebrate more the weekend warrior improving himself rather than the podium winner...
  • 12 6
 LOL. Ignorance of the law or rules is no excuse.
  • 11 2
 True, but contesting a charge shouldn't require an international flight. There should be a mechanism to have arbitration without having to go to Norway. The current method creates an arbitration system that is not fair to all athletes.
  • 4 0
 But, but, but, it’s tough being ignorant. Seriously though, you are absolutely correct.
  • 3 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: Except there is no such requirement. Norway has no arbitration panel for doping cases.
  • 1 1
 @lowgear: Guess you missed this part?
"As the article states; “he elected to sign an acceptance of sanction form the day before the arbitration hearing in his case was to begin.” The information left out is that by US Cycling rules, I had to be in person in Norway for the arbitration. "
  • 3 1
 Guilty or not, why in the hell should an amateur racer in the US have to travel to Norway in order to defend themselves against doping allegations, especially when they haven't even been tested. That seems effing crazy to me.
  • 9 0
 Because that part is probably made up……United States Anti Doping Agency requires a hearing in Norway???
  • 1 0
 @Austink: trying to loosely allude to CAS in Lausanne without saying CAS (maybe legal practice issues with lawyers making unrealistic statements about protesting with CAS). International Court for Arbitration in Sport.
  • 6 0
 lol the ol Jon Jones excuse.
  • 2 0
 I guess what I wonder is, if most of the world is currently on Zoom both for biz and personal connections and given the ongoing pandemic why wouldn't he request his arbitration be virtual? And frankly given the plethora of lawyers in the USA I'm sure he could have hired one and at least requested a rescheduling of the arbitration hearing? I mean his reputation got slammed hard and that damage has been done. Now this letter casts doubt on the legitimacy of the entire fiasco? I would have fought harder if I truly believed I was "innocent"...well guess it's time to go ride but I better check the ingredients on those Pop Tarts I just scarfed down....better safe than guilty.
  • 2 0
 If he is innocent, he should sue USADA and the UCI unless they show proof through testing. In other sports, you need to test hot or admit guilt. Since he accepted the sanction, I'll presume he is guilty. A 52 year old rider can't really make a viable career out of racing any longer, so why accept it only to come back when he's 56 yrs old only to get accused again and banned again? Something is off.
  • 2 1
 So if “other sports” had a case with multiple online orders for banned substances placed using the athlete’s credit card, shipping to the athletes house, to the athletes name, with the athletes signature on the shipping receipt... you think they would still need a positive test or confession to sanction them?
  • 2 0
 @Blackhat: I'm going by what he said in the article:

"USADA or US Cycling never provided myself or my lawyer any proof of purchasing these substances or proof of me taking any substances that are outside of my Dr. prescribed medications. I was never blood tested, urine tested or any testing whatsoever. I was assumed guilty and per US Cycling rules assumptions over proof allow for banning of riders."
  • 1 0
 @Staktup: I’m not talking about this specific case, but your unambiguously worded statement: “in other sports, you need to test hot or admit guilt”

I don’t see where you allow that proof of purchase would matter to those other sports.
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: I don't understand if you are disagreeing with me, playing devil's advocate, or being Mr. Pontificator Imperator at parties. Proof of purchase means zilch to me unless the product labels from said purchases explicitly list the banned substances. For example, if authorities track the receipts to actual containers he bought that are a mix of things and list stanozolol, etc., then sure he'd be in hot water. However, if banned substances are found through lab analyses and were not listed in the label, then he can argue he didn't know.

A positive blood or urine test with positive banned substances traced to his supplements that were traced to his purchases would be my definition of irrefutable evidence. A negative blood or urine test affords an athlete a small window of innocence, and perhaps a reduced sentence. Acceptance of a ban to me is an acceptance of guilt.

I'm not defending him, I'm simply trying to understand and speculate on the truth- there is a lot that is unknown which is why I wrote that something is off- from both sides.
  • 1 0
 @Staktup: I don’t understand what’s not to understand. You made a claim about other sports. I provided an example and asked how you think other sports would deal with it. Since you’re not answering the question I keep asking it.

If you consider it pontification then so be it, but I’m not the one waxing eloquent about my personal opinion that’s totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. Nor am I the one who made a statement I’m not willing to defend.
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: there have been enough cases in the MLB/BALCO, UFC & Olympics so that I don't have to rewrite history on how those organizations used evidence, what type of evidence, and how the punishments were doled out. The key word is evidence- we (PB & PB members) haven't seen the evidence in this rider's case
  • 2 0
 He spends by his own account hundreds of thousands of dollars on this sport and can't: 1) figure out how to get to Norway to defend himself; 2) figure out how to hire a Norwegian attorney to go to court to get the hearing continued; or 3) sue after the fact if the hearing was unfair or did not give him adequate due process if he was unable to attend. His own statement reveals that he knew taking supplements was risky, and yet he still took them. So don't take f*cking supplements. Eat clean food, sleep a lot, stretch and work out, and the most important thing . . . don't think that at 52 you're still going to be hyper competitive. Just go ride your f*cking bike.
  • 12 11
 How exactly is everyone assuming this guy is guilty already? is this just typical keyboard hate or what? If the guy was never tested and they never provided proof of purchase that showed he bought these substances then where is the smoking gun? I didn't know there were so many experienced lawyers on this site that could determine a persons culpability by reading two short articles/statements.
  • 17 3
 B/c he signed the guilty plea form. shrug>
  • 3 5
 @smartyiak: Not saying the guy is innocent or guilty, however, his statement above shows there was a valid reason for signing the guilt statement.
  • 5 2
 @tacklingdummy: I disagree. What would have happened had he not signed? He would have been banned for 4yrs, no? So...why sign?

We're in the "Court of public opinion," so I'm saying: he doped. Why? Not b/c he signed the waiver. But b/c that list of substances and his response. I'm not some anti-doping zealot...had he had a (as in ONE) substance, I'd go with it...but TEN. I just want him punished for that stupid letter. What is it: better to remain silent and thought a cheat...or something like that.
  • 3 1
 @smartyiak: Lots of people enter guilty pleas when they are innocent. It's a major issue in both Canadian and American judicial systems. It's not a stretch to see something similar happen with an administrative agency pending an arbitration (sort of its own justice system). It could be that if he didn't show up to the hearing the sanctions would be worse. We don't have that information.
  • 4 2
 @j-t-g: I’m aware it happens (but I don’t think it’s a “major” issue). However...what would be worse. A lifetime ban? He’s a mid50’s amateur ...he’d miss out as Octogenarian State Champ? shrug>
  • 2 6
flag tacklingdummy (Apr 28, 2021 at 12:06) (Below Threshold)
 @smartyiak: Reasonable reason he signed because he was required to fly to Norway for arbitration and the would have deemed him guilty whether he signed it or not. It could have been a plea bargain to sign the document. It is a detail that is missing. Still much more to the story.
  • 2 1
 @smartyiak: It's a major enough issue for a pretty prominent US Judge to write a book about it when normally Judges are often supposed to remain neutral on such issues. See Judge Rakoff's (same guy who let DMX play a rap song the courtroom) book "Why the Innocent Plead Guilty".
  • 1 0
 It's the new norm. Social Media is great, it's a modern day version of a lynch mob.
  • 5 1
 As others have alluded to, these article photos are pretty over the top and certainly add a serious bias to the reporting.
  • 3 2
 If he isnt guilt, why would he sign the acceptance form? It sounds like everything happening in Norway (?) would have just banned him anyways...but if I was freaking innocent NO WAY am I signing some sham document to accept that. With that as an indicator, this smells like a guy who was clearly busted via common sense, even tho he wasn't drug tested. Like getting caught with the teachers answers in your backpack then complaining that no one actually witnessed you cheating. That's just speculation but it at least smells like that.
  • 4 4
 His statement above says he was required to fly to Norway for arbitration. If he chose not to go to Norway, he would have been deemed guilty whether he signed the document or not. It is a reasonable reason to sign if it was some sort of plea bargain to a shorter ban. Who would spend several thousands to fly to Norway in a pandemic (have to quarantine on both legs US and Norway) for arbitration for a local race? Even if there was no quarantine, I wouldn't want to fly to Norway for arbitration of local race. It is ridiculous requirement. Lol.
  • 1 1
 @tacklingdummy: norway statement is BS. Court for Arbitration in Sport is in Lausanne with a hub court in New York.
  • 1 0
 @dr-airtime: Read the USADA guidelines for arbitration. Independent arbitrators are chosen for each particular case. The chosen independent arbitrators determine many factors of the arbitrations including the location. It is very unlikely the guy put out a public statement (with guidance of his attorney) with a complete lie that he had to go to Norway for arbitration if he did not. There has to be some truth to his statement that he had to go to Norway for arbitration. There is a lot more to the story. I think don't think this is the last article that will be released of this soap opera. Lol.
  • 1 1
 @tacklingdummy: Good facts. The Norwegian posters here are scratching their heads!
  • 1 0
 @dr-airtime: Read the USADA guidelines. Reading and learning is fun!
  • 2 0
 Ingested the banned substances via dietary supplements that he did not realize contained ingredients....... Spill the beans I want to know these supplements that have all these banned substances in!
  • 1 0
 Haha same here dude, if there's an over the counter supplement that contains Nandrolone and HGH without prescription and having to jab my arse to make it effective, then I've been missing out on it big time Big Grin
  • 1 0
 It might be controversial but I agree with the person that said there should be an “open mod” category. Maybe have a minimum age of 40? If supplements make an older person feel better so they can squeeze a little more longevity and performance out of their riding then I’d say go for it. Not everyone can afford doctors to prescribe what they need.
  • 2 1
 @jamessmurthwaite: Kinda lame to publish this guy name when you are all hush-hush when pros are getting caught. I actually know the guy very well. He is super friendly and an asset to the MTB community, I even raced him for the last 10 years and I don't really care if he takes some shady supplements. He is always pumped about racing and get everybody stocked. There is a big difference between being a pro and being a recreational rider. I'm all for having high standards for the elite but how dare Pinkbike is to ask the same perfection to an average mountain biker when a large amount of the general population use drugs for recreation, stimulation, are lying and cheating..look at the politics!

Please Pinkbike, be respectful of your audience and remove this guy name. You are condemning him to eternal shame.. Do you think you are so much better than him.
  • 2 0
 I want to know what bikes he is riding when he spends hundreds of thousands dollars on them......couple of Santa Cruz ebikes!
  • 2 2
 Every supplement lists its ingredients, you don't have to know what they are but should be able to find out if they're on the banned list without much effort.

But the in-person thing is what stands out the most to me. I know these bodies tend to be inflexible, but I struggle to think how they could uphold a "must be in person" rule during a global pandemic with travel restrictions in place. Just seems odd. Doesn't sound like this guy got legal advice, or if he did it best have been pro bono because it wasn't worth much.
  • 1 1
 Many supplements have illegal ingredients that are not listed, unfortunately this is very common. This is why supplements are tested by 3rd parties, if you want to be sure you need to use supplements that have been tested.
  • 3 0
 @davec113: ok, fair point.

So this guy is implying that the certification system failed to catch 10 different products and it was bad luck he happened to use them. Got it.
  • 4 0
 Masters racing in a nutshell
  • 5 0
 Who cares?
  • 4 0
 Who cares, dude didn't even have any strava koms.
  • 2 0
 Serious question...

If testosterone is prescribed and managed by a doctor for treatment of LowT (or other legitimate disorders), is it considered illegal by the USADA?
  • 3 0
 Imagine lawyering up other doping in amateur sports. It's like a connect 3 of pathetic.
  • 1 1
 This story needs its own Netflix doc. Fragile Southern California workout bros chasing Fountain of Youth vibes. Immigration. Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars spent. Norwegian Vindication stymied by Plandemic Obfuscation. Industry Spotlight: Intense Bicycles. B plot - B screw going obsolete too, cuz gearbox guy (DCA is introduced like Doc Antle, side character with spin-off potential). January 6th.

Do it quick, before COVID’s over for the rest of us!
  • 2 0
 The staged photo is a bit odd. I mean who thinks to themselves "Maybe I'll enjoy the sunset in my garden and inject some substances"?
  • 1 2
 Wait, wait, wait... This guy was never tested??? WTF? They can ban someone off of a hunch?? I mean I did creep on his IG before he made it private and saw some pictures of him looking juiced af so it's probably true but still, no proof??
  • 1 0
 What if they found it on his person?
  • 2 2
 If this happened to me, even falsely accused, I'd just release an official statement, "YOLO BITCHES" and then get on with my life, zfg. Other people's opinions only have as much power over you as you give them...
  • 4 0
 Dope story bro
  • 2 0
 BS - -this guy is a local hack enduro racer.. he's average at best and that's with the drugs.
  • 1 0
 From the article title its obvious that using banned supplements in even multiples will get you suspended. Stick to the odds. Duhh!
  • 1 2
 Pinkbike should have never used his name. He may or may not be innocent . taking that hit is stupid PERIOD. If he did or did not they should not try to make money like a cheap conspiracy theory paper IE enduring minds want to know. VA fucked up by using, by signing and now with this letter. He never should have wrote the letter instead he should have sued Pinkbike for slander. Pinkbike has no proof and committed libel. But really who here knew his name before the article now he is famous
  • 2 0
 I read no mention of UCI, only USADA and US Cycling. Not sure why he’d need to travel to Norway to defend himself?
  • 1 1
 Why someone would care? There multiple athletes uses enhancing drugs, i would say majority of them.
U can always launch your own race series without any drug testing in caae you are so competitive and being banned
  • 1 2
 This statement sums it up for me.
"Spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this sport and support of all the great people that provide local racers the events listed in the article. Without those people none of this exist and USADA and US Cycling have determined with no proof to eradicate a 52 year amateur racer that has done nothing but pour support and money into the local scene to ensure young riders have a place to race."
At the end of the day if us old guys aren't out there racing and spending money on it with the young guns, most of the local racing events won't happen. He didn't make any money off racing, so who cares what he was taking.
  • 3 3
 What are the facts? Was he innocently taking supplements or deliberately doping? I hope that this isn't another "cancelling" in the name of optics.
  • 1 0
 Jeezus dude, just have a Red Bull or Monster before you ride. It would of saved you all of this attention.
  • 2 0
 If you knew him you would know he loves attention.Thats why he walks around big bear with his shirt off flexing. Wich is also why he Juices lol
  • 1 0
 A shame. I thought it was only road cycling where you needed to be a lawyer to follow the sport.
  • 2 1
 No testing done? That is a slippery f*ckin slope that USADA is headed down....
  • 2 0
 Why do you have to go to Norway to contest a US ruling?
  • 2 1
 This is BS. Loosely trying to draw a connection to Court for Arbitration in Sport in Lausanne, which has a US court desk in New York!
  • 1 0
 Ask elberto conador why they banned him for two years for his multiple ped use..
  • 1 0
 Even if it’s true I doubt he’s using it for racing purposes. He’s 52! Not like he’s gonna go out and win a WC.
  • 1 0
 He’d have been better served not signing the acceptance judging by his statement.
  • 3 1
 Alright.
  • 3 2
 He should ride a ebike...
  • 1 1
 There looks like there is a lot more to the story as always. I'm guessing there are more articles to come.
  • 1 1
 Please put a link to the previous story if you're going to post incomplete info like this Pinkbike?
More haste less speed.
  • 2 0
 Racing Sucks
  • 1 4
 Man... This seems to be a case of guilty until proven innocent. He shouldn't have signed anything, IMO. Seems wrong that USA cycling, USADA, WADA can all suspend someone with no actual proof, just accusations from other riders.. But, look at what USADA and WADA have done in the moto world and none of this is surprising..
  • 3 2
 Why do we give a crap about some local racer? This isn’t news Pinkbike.
  • 2 5
 “The press is a gang of cruel f*ggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for f*ckoffs and misfits—a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • 1 0
 That statement is fucking shady.........
  • 1 1
 Guilty until proven innocent . . .
***Ràndy Marsh voice***
OH IM SORRY I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA!
  • 1 0
 Dude confessed ... Case closed !
  • 1 0
 All I know is, I need some of these compounds
  • 1 0
 Totes LIT!
  • 1 1
 Just drink water, and eat right, and train.
  • 2 1
 Who cares...Smile
  • 2 2
 why is this newsworthy?
  • 1 1
 I like drugs.
  • 2 5
 Holy S**T this is stupid.
Let Vahe (sp?) Ride!!!
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