On May 21, Martin Maes got the call from the UCI that every athlete dreads. After the perfect start to the Enduro World Series season, Martin had failed anti-doping tests at the first two rounds of the year and was facing some serious sanctions. The drug turned out to be probenecid, classed by WADA as a masking agent, but a substance Maes claimed had been prescribed to him by a doctor at the NZ Enduro to address a serious infection in his injured leg.
Martin tried to fight his case but although they acknowledge the 'non-intentional' nature of his failed drug test, the authorities wouldn't grant him a retroactive TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption). He was handed a 90 day sentence and stripped of two wins. He's on the ground in Italy at this weekend's EWS though, knowing he can't race but wanting to show his face and address any questions people may have. We had plenty, and here's what Martin had to say.
What happened with the crash itself that led to the injury? Martin:
I clipped my pedal on the first day of the NZ Enduro, which resulted in a cut. It was pouring down that day so I kept racing and I guess it got infected so I got in touch with Dr Jerram after the first day of racing. He cleaned the wound as well as he could, put in three or four stitches that day and gave me a small dose of antibiotics to help fight the infection.
48 hours later, on Sunday, I woke up and I got to a point where I couldn't even walk any more with my leg. The wound was surrounded with a lot of red, it wasn't normal and wasn't getting better.
I decided to go back to the event and see Dr Jerram again and he was pretty stoked that I went back to him and showed him the infection because it was getting worse by the hour.
|I couldn't put my leg on the floor and I couldn't feel my leg anymore. It was getting worse and worse and my body temperature was getting higher and higher.|
He opened a few stitches, cleaned the infected wound and prescribed me a very high dose of antibiotics combined with probenecid, which was going to help me fight infection. It's a good combination to prescribe with the antibiotics because it helps them go to my blood and it helps my stomach handle the antibiotics as well. It was about 6 or 7 grams of antibiotics a day so it was the highest dose I could possibly have.
What procedures do you normally go through when you're given a prescription to ensure it's not on the WADA prohibited list? Martin:
I've never faced such a situation. Mark Maurissen, my team manager, tried to check on the Wada list that day but there was no signal where we were so we ended up not checking, that was the huge mistake.
|I don't even remember the next 20 or 30 minutes, I was just lost and gone.|
At the same time, we 100% trusted the doctor and when you go to the doctor most of the time you just trust him and you don't check every medicine that is prescribed to you. We obviously did ask and he did tell us that it was all fine. There were two doctors and they guaranteed us there was no issue about it.
Dr. Jerram said it was a potential loss of limb situation and you had to take it for your own safety. Did you realise it was that serious at the time? Martin:
Yeah we realised. We got to the point where I couldn't put my leg on the floor and I couldn't feel my leg anymore. It was getting worse and worse and my body temperature was getting higher and higher and I knew it wasn't going a good way. The doctor had to do something and I was actually happy, he saved my leg and 24 to 36 hours after I could use it again.
So looking back on it is there anything differently you would have done in that 48 hour period? Martin:
Erm no. We did everything.
So when was the time you knew something was up, was it when the test results came back? Martin:
That was May 21, the Sunday after Madeira. This is a situation I never thought I'd face in my life because I train a lot and just do my best on the bike to perform and doping goes against my education so yeah, it was a huge surprise.
I don't even remember the next 20 or 30 minutes, I was just lost and gone. At the time, I didn't know what it was, I didn't think of the probenecid that I had in my body a few days before the first EWS. I didn't think of it, I was just lost and gone. Then my team manager got the same call as me by the UCI and he called me straight up and said, “Martin, you remember, you were on the high dose of antibiotics and then the probenecid." Originally we thought the probenecid was an antibiotic and that's the big mistake.
So was this the first time you've been drug tested in the EWS? Martin:
No, no I've been tested so many times through my career. All the downhill appearances that I did in the past, every time I got a good result as a junior in Fort William, World Champs in Vallnord, Olargues last year in the EWS, Lenzerheide, La Bresse, obviously, so I’ve been tested maybe ten times since I turned professional.
So how did you go about fighting your case? Martin:
We did everything with the support of my manager and all my team have been behind me since the first hours. We took a lawyer as well to help defend our case because it just felt unfair and we wanted to fight the positive test.
Even though the probenecid doesn't have any performance enhancing effects, it's a masking agent, unfortunately they came back to us last Thursday to say they weren't going to change anything. It was heartbreaking, especially after such a long preparation during the winter and such a good start to the season in New Zealand, in Tasmania and going straight back to Madeira and winning again. It was a perfect start to the season and that's what hurts right now. All the effort and energy that I put on my bike, I felt like I was much stronger and smarter and it was going to be a great season, I was sure of it. When you put that much effort in, it's just heartbreaking. It just felt, and it still feels, unfair.
What reasons did the UCI give for not counting it as a TUE? Martin:
We did apply for the retrospective TUE, unfortunately it hasn't been accepted for whatever the reason is.
They wouldn't give you a reason? Martin:
Yes, there is an alternative to probenecid and that's why it got declined but unfortunately Dr Jerram didn't know any other option and that was a very unfortunate thing as well. The UCI recognised the usage of probenecid was purely for medicine reasons and it's very annoying the TUE did not get approved.
Did you have the option to go to a Sport’s Tribunal? Why did you choose not to do that? Martin:
I had the choice but we asked the UCI last Thursday when we got the response from them about the three month ban and all the results and they told us it was the smallest option they could offer us. So we accepted it and hoped for the best. GT Factory Racing worked a lot for the statement to make it as clear as possible.
|I'm not guilty, I didn't do anything wrong, I just made a stupid mistake not to check on the WADA list after the probenecid was prescribed to me.|
So what are your plans while you're away from racing? Martin:
Well obviously I'm going to turn my frustration into my training. I will work harder than I've ever done, do everything to come back as strongly as possible. I will be back in Northstar, mid-August, after Whistler, just a week before World Champs in Mont Sainte Anne.
The biggest goal this season now is World Champs. I was so close last year, 0.2 behind Loic and I'm going to spend a bit more time on my downhill bike and try and prepare as best as possible for Mont Sainte Anne.
Why did you decide to go to Italy despite this ruling and knowing you couldn't race? Martin:
Because I have nothing to hide. This is my case and I accept the decision of the UCI and I'm not guilty, I didn't do anything wrong, I just made a stupid mistake not to check on the WADA list after the probenecid was prescribed to me.
There is the chance to speak to media and explain in more detail what happened if they want more information. If anyone has questions, I've got the answers. GT Factory Racing and myself have got nothing to hide, we just want to explain the situation to people and that there were circumstances. Shit happens as they say!
Could more be done to educate riders and prevent the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs? Martin:
I think so yes. I think with my case, people will hear about it and I think next time everyone is going to be a little bit more vigilant about what they put in their body.
We've made a mistake, we didn't check and we should have checked even though we didn't have reception that day. It was a stupid mistake and we’ve got to accept it, put it behind us, move forward and I'm going to get ready for when I can get back racing. I just want to keep racing at the end of the day, that's what I love to do.
Is there anything else you want to say to fans or people who have followed this case today? Martin:
I just really want to thank all the riders that have supported me, both EWS and downhill riders. I've already got so many messages showing their support and that's the best I could hear today and it feels so good that people understand the situation I was in and the situation I am still in. It's extremely frustrating but we move forward. I just want to thank everyone in the sport and I'm super stoked read all the support form them.
• Martin Maes Tests Positive for Masking Agent at EWS Rotorua & Tasmania, Receives 90 Day 'Non-Intentional' Suspension
Whoooo f*cking cares honestly.
3. Press fit BB
4. enve rims
5. New hub standard
6. Regressive leverage ratios
7. Richie Rude
9. Too much anti squat
Did I forget anything?
10: Chainstays that aren't as short as possible
11: Experts- in general
13: Going full enduro
14: Anything not perfect with the fantasy team
15: Trunnion Mount Shocks
17: Discounts & Deals (Under 20% off)
18. Goggles with halflid helmet
19. Red Bull
#1. Frames without a water bottle mount.
20. Frames without water bottle mounts
For f*cks sake it stimulants, same as caffeine.
Plus no one gives a rats ass if you have inferior genetics, so I don’t get how drugs are so bad comparatively. There is no such thing as a “level” playing field.
1. Keep a list of banned substances in a few formats, printed, Notes on phones, laptops...
2. Race Doctors should be trained (and possess a list of banned substances) on how to treat a simple cut with the right (approved) medications
It all sounds like a pretty lame excuse that there was no cell signal
Things Pinkbikers dislike:
1. Lists of things pinkbikers dislike where Crankbros is not in No1 position
While they didn't have signal on the day, in hindsight they could have checked in the days after the event if the drugs taken were on the banned list or not. If they had, they would have seen, applied for a retrospective TUE, and it would have been granted.
Agreed x 1000!
22. Lycra shorts
23. XC guys
24. Tests about bikes over $ 5.000
25. Dentist/Orthodontist Builds
26. Spengle Wheels
Typical though of documents of this nature that they also state in relation to final point that if they don't award one retroTUE , you have NO right of appeal..... sort of like in football codes when a player wants to fight a tribunal citation... they the organisation want to eat their cake and smear it over your face on the way out.......
27: 29" wheels
28: 27.5" wheels
29: fat bikes
30: plus bikes
31: expensive bikes
32: cheap bikes
No, I believe it's chainstays that vary with size that are cool now, not long chainstays.f*ck stability, tire clearance and roomier rear ends that are easier to clean. I won't be stoked until my rearwheel axle sits between my ankles, my fork is so slack it's suspension comes from flexing and my seat tube angle is more than 90 degrees.
It's also impossible to hold enduro up as a bastion of clean competition as this is the first year that there's been any sort of regular anti doping controls.
To think that you, thousands of miles away, neither doctor nor racer nor UCI official, would know better, is laughable.
Stop calling it a lame excuse, it's so far from the truth, and it has very little to do with being sanctioned or not.
All rules should be questioned. Thats why people can take cases the the supreme court, look at the Texas vs Johnson case, he questioned the texan decision of his case regarding their law and that of the constitution and went to the supreme court and won.
"Rules are rules, follow them or suffer the consequences" - hate this phrase
Not by Maes' team manager as he never bothered to check the WADA prohibited list (or print it off beforehand) at any point AND especially for the doctor who works with these athletes all the time (I assume) and he's not aware of the alternative to probenecid?
Rookie moves all around...
If you know nothing about medicine, and a doctor tells you "you could lose your leg, I give you antibiotics and this and this" you would be thinking " fck fck fck give me anything to save my leg"
I doubt any of the team managers and doctors knows the list by heart, particularly when it comes to masking agents.
The only mistake was not to check afterwards (when he had reception).
The comments of "what should he do, lose his leg?" I'm reading here are a bit beyond the point. Obviously Maes should have taken the drug / masking agent to save his leg. But then after they got back in cell phone range, they should have checked on the banned substance list and simply decided to not race EWS (or ask for the TUE - and then race)!
It would have prevented the fine he received and loss of points during upcoming races! Understand the frustration on Maes' part but this could have been prevented (even with the drug in his body). Ergo, team failure.
It is not required for volunteers at regional races to know about masking agents in doping. That is specialized knowledge which most GPs, ER docs or similar wouldn't have, since it is only relevant for world class athletes and teams.
There you go. It was even more ridiculous while it was happening.
I am sorry Martin, I love you as a rider, but you are guilty of not following the rules. I'd agree he's not guilty of willfully doping himself, but hey... we've heard that one before too and those same rules should make no distinction. We should not let anyone off the hook, because they have an excuse that seems plausible.
Before we get to the medical part, let's look at the duck test, as this is often taught in medical school in the effort to teach the student to keep the most likely diagnoses at the top of the list. It goes like this, "if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck." One can easily extrapolate this to, "if it looks like bullshit, smells like bullshit and sounds like bullshit, it's probably bullshit." This is the first thing that comes to my mind after I read yet another positive doping test in cycling (or any endurance sport). Yup, I'm looking at you Richie.
Now for Mr. Maes. The biggest problem with the 'story' is that medically speaking it doesn't add up. If I see someone in the ER with a laceration that I'm concerned about enough to start them on a prophylactic (preventative) antibiotic, and then they come back with a "serious, limb threatening infection", the treatment indicated at that point would NEVER be to just add probenecid in an attempt to raise the serum concentration of that same antibiotic. A FIRST YEAR EMERGENCY MEDICINE INTERN would know that the correct treatment would ALWAYS be to expand antibiotic coverage because at that point you must conclude that the responsible bacteria may not be sensitive to the initial antibiotic. The main culprit here being a form of staph known as MRSA. Flucoxacillin does NOT cover MRSA and any ER doctor (hell any medical student) knows this. The correct action at that time is ALWAYS to either add an additional antibiotic that covers MRSA or stop the initial antibiotic and switch to a broad spectrum antibiotic (a bigger gun) that does cover it. This is not subjective and this is not opinion, it's basic medical knowledge.
There are other smaller medical parts as well that don't add up (we don't put sutures in wounds that are "grossly contaminated"), but the first main point above regarding the antibiotics is enough to know that the duck test, although being a simple concept, is highly accurate once again.
Do you really think three Kiwi doctors (the Doc's statement also mentions others by name) are going to risk their reputations/livelihood to concoct a detailed, but flawed, story in cahoots with a random athlete to cover up some elaborate doping scheme?
And why didn't they go to emergency department or check if it was on the WADA list when he was at the pharmacy?
1- some MD are lying to cover up something
2- Selection and formation of Med student is not the same everywhere
As for the 2), I can say that here, at the medical university of Innsbruck, the MUI Personal that examine the medical students during the "praktikum" are told not to fail students to respect the quotas.
I can’t imagine a limb threatening infection that doesn’t get a debridement and an IV drip, or at the very least an antibiotic injection - which doesn’t need probenecid to boost effectiveness. These things are true even in NZ. Not to mention that probenecid is a mask for anabolics that has a very short half-life - making failing back to back drug tests from a single dose pretty unlikely. There is a reason it is a banned substance.
Everyone seems to be giving MM a pass while hanging RR on the cross...As much as I like both men and want to root for their innocence, I think both stories stretch believability to an equal extent.
Firstly you aren't familiar with the local infection tendencies and that can have a huge impact on prescribing. This doctor probably didn't even consider MRSA and I wouldn't have either. There is no reason to suspect Maes came into contact with MRSA. Usually, these types of infections are very predictable in that they are almost always the same bacteria depending on where it happened. If I see a patient with a dog bite, I don't give broad spectrum antibiotics. I target the usual suspect. Prescribing pip-tazo and vancomycin in this situation would honestly be silly.
Secondly, I believe the doctor said the infection was potentially life or limb threatening if left untreated. That would not warrant admission to a hospital. This is an infection that developed under the most ideal circumstances. A prophylactic course of antibiotics failing is not overly surprising considering the exposure the wound experienced. Also Maes is young, fit, and healthy. An obese diabetic with that wound might warrant admission, not a fit athlete in his prime who is also moving to the next event soon.
I think this doctor made a very reasonable decision with the best interest of his patient (maes) in mind. His treatment resolved the infection, minimized disruption to his daily life (other than the eventual ban), and was fiscally responsible.
The only flaw in the process was failing to confirm the banned status of probenecid. Any athlete who gets drug tested should be confirming every drug they take and I mean every drug. I'd have checked the antibiotic, the probenecid, and the ondansetron. For that reason, I think the 90 day ban is a reasonable punishment. I would have ruled differently, taking the situation into account if given the choice, but overall I feel the ruling us fair.
As a fellow doctor should you not be reporting the doctors who treated him to their professional bodies? if what you say is right they're guilty of serious malpractice by lying to cover doping scandal.
However, that still does not explain how he tested positive still at Derby if he had been off probenocid for 14 days, and as others have eluded it would have been quite an amazing feat to go from being unable to walk to 10 days later dominating EWS.
Putting all of these related pieces of information together, I cannot believe this is anything other than smoke and mirrors. It would be really fantastic if Pinkbike would do some actual reporting on this and address these inconsistencies instead of regurgitating press releases from GT, UCI, and publishing puff piece interviews with the accused.
The not being able to walk thing doesn't stand out as odd to me though. His inability to walk would have been due to the pain from inflammation at the wound site. That resolves quickly when the infection begins to clear.
I think, regardless of what happened, Maes is in charge of adhering to the doping policy as it is written. He failed to do so.
I've known the known the prescribing Doctor for years, I went to school with him. The guy is integrity personified. Quit talking shit on the internet on stuff you know nothing about. Knowing Tom, he was probably volunteering for the event, Why? Because he loves mountain biking.
If I was in a serious emergency I couldn't think of anyone better to be helping me out than Tom.
14 Days later at Derby though? The concentration in his blood sample had be less than 0.000000000003mg (based on excretion and drug half-life at reported dosage). So either UCI do not even care about the level in the bloodstream (ie any at all and you are banned=stupid) or Martin was taking Probenecid significantly longer than March 17, which would be suspicious.
Would be really nice for UCI to discuss this.....
So he would have still tested positive at rotorua, but you are absolutely correct that unless UCI have some crazy sensitive test there is no way he should have been positive at Derby.
I wanted to believe it was a BS UCI decision but unless we were given inaccurate information regarding timelines, Martin's story does not hold water.
Everyone wants to blindly take his side, but why, just cuz he’s a good rider??
The point is even with super conservative (ie generous to Martin) assumptions there is no possible way he could have tested positive at Derby unless he was taking the drug longer than reported...
And I mean, EWS riders (Gracia?) say that it's rampant. Not sure why he'd lie about that.
The race where the incident happened was a small one in NZ before the EWS, and not connected to the EWS. These races have small budgets. Medics and Paramedics are drafted in. In the UK where I live, at equivalent races I have helped at this is done by contracting through an agency which some medics work for to earn extra money on top of their main jobs in hospitals/ambulance etc etc. The pay they get for this is reasonable, but does not factor in, or require, extra training to learn about WADA or UCI doping regs. They are medics concerned with health. Whilst it is reasonable to expect a EWS or UCI professional race to have Sports specific doctors, at smaller events (with less budget) maybe that is not the case, and drafted in medics are doing their best, but not aware for banned drugs lists.
Just thoughts, not intended to be the last say in the matter.
This is actually the mistake. Not to check the list post event and apply for a TUE straight away.
But, even then the UCI may have rejected it. What especially sucks is when the UCI does not explain why they rejected the TUE and is not transparent about this stuff so that both the athlete and the fan is well informed.
Until they explain and it passes the pub test, i consider them a huge part of the problem.
In such a case it is the responsibility of the athlete and his team to make sure that they comply with anti-doping rules. GT and Maes obviously didn't and missed several opportunities to avert damage. They didn't immediately apply for a TUE after getting back into cellphone range and they didn't declare the use of the drug before the next EWS/UCI race.
They also had the option of pulling Maes from UCI races until he was clean again, which would have taken away the opportunity for a win but would have prevented the ban.
All of this hints at yet another team not taking doping related issues seriously, to the detriment of the athlete.
- The banned substance wasn't prescribed during the first treatment nor was it known it would be needed at that time so Maes and team didn't know they needed to look up the substance in question.
- This doctor is there to treat athletes for emergencies. This isn't the athlete's primary physician that has an ongoing relationship. Hard to compare this to you going for a scheduled building inspection. I'm sure building codes evolve, but it's still a stretch to compare building codes with practicing medicine. One is tremendously more complex than the other.
- The doctor apparently did an awesome job, because Maes went on to dominate multiple rounds of the EWS after possibly losing his leg!
- Throw this doctor under the bus and how motivated are other doctors, EMTs, or anyone going to be willing to go volunteer at these events?
Maes and his manager made a mistake in not checking the medication that was prescribed (they were informed, this is not a case of doctor giving athletes drugs without knowledge). The medication is also not banned, but rather only allowed with certain processes followed.
There are significant mitigating factors that have been considered in the sanction, but to hold anyone else liable than the athlete makes the system worthless. Also, in being a pro athlete paid significantly, this is exactly the type of thing you are responsible for. It's no different to turning up on time fit and ready to race and not behaving badly on social media.
In NZ, as other countries, there are phone lines to the in country ADA and websites available. If Maes had checked this he could had found out it was covered, gotten a back dated TUE before racing and there would have been no problem.
It's a really unfortunate, and exceedingly rare example of exigent circumstances colliding with poor processes.
I didn't know it was a small race. I don't follow the EWS so I thought it was that. Now the onus is on the team.
I am all with Marvin, but too many of these doping violations are a, "I didn't know . . . ." GT grow up and become world class. Your racer is.
3. At no point at all does anyone f*cking check what medicine a professional athlete is taking?! What about his regular doctor? Was there no follow up after a serious leg infection? How could no one pick up that this medicine was banned and report it straight away to the EWS. What kind of team is this?? I'm not saying they deserve the ban, but they deserve to be called unprofessional.
This totally works for all job right? As a PAID PROFESSIONAL its your responsibility bottom line.
Also maybe I am you are assuming that his side of the story is the absolute true. Have you ever cheated in school, or at work, or on a partner. You have cheated somewhere we all have so don't always be so naive to think that because you look up to someone then are perfect.
They should disclose every drugs and supplements they use automatically every time they change diet or got a prescription then the wada would check for any potential problems. We even have computers to do that these days.
Some doctors, nutritionist or coach could even do that for their athletes as an added value. They could have a "doping free" label.
I, like many riders and fans of the various MTB WC series and EWS races, want a better explanation than the robotic lawyer talk you push out to the media. With the information in front of us now, I can't understand how anybody with a half a conscience can call the denial of a TUE just in this particular case.
Perhaps more due diligence is required from the team side in order to make your job of differentiating those who are doping from those with legitimate reasons for having something in their system easier. I still can't imagine how an accusation of doping such as this can cross someones desk, with all the evidence compiled and presented, and then have that person say, "well the rules are the rules, life and limb are no excuse."
If there was performance benefits, I would understand, even if accidental, and I can understand the other anti-doping cases that have come up since the EWS has joined the UCI. I just can't wrap my head around this one. There must either be details we are missing or a sore failure in the way the UCI does business and their consideration of the human factor.
Please provide all of the racing fans with a better explanation, or seriously review your own ethics and the process by which you determine exceptional cases such as this one.
-A rider that cares.
Probenecid is used to mask anabolic steroids from showing up in tests. If you accept that something like HGH is performance enhancing, then there's a pretty clear reason to ban or control probenecid.
It's been banned not just in cycling but in most tested sports for a long time, so I wouldn't go mindlessly blaming the UCI (I don't particularly like the UCI either, so I'm not cutting them slack here).
If you do a basic web search you'll find sportspeople who have recieved a ban for it's use stretching back to the 90's. Even in cycling.
No coverage in or near a hospital... Suspect, WI-FI router... Do the crime, do the time. Don't look for sympathy from me. There is always two sides to the story, or things left out...
It wasn't performance enhancing though? Seems unfair in this case. I have had severe cellulitis in a leg wound and it is excruciating and potentially deadly. How can the UCI recognise this fact, then the fact it isn't performance enhancing and still dish out a ban and reputation damage?
You’ve got a guy who has never tested positive previously. The UCI recognised that he had accidentally taken masking substance, had acknowledged it was accidental and that it was purely for medical reasons. I might also add there were photos shared of him being stitched up. To add to all that it was not a substance that gave him a competitive advantage.
What I am saying is this seems to be a cut and dry case and that he shouldn’t be slapped with infractions when what he was found with wasn’t even performance enhancing in the first place. It’s like being slapped with a speeding ticket for rushing to hospital with someone dying in the back of your car.
Of course mask substances should be banned but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat things case by case and with some common sense.
This comment section is on another planet sometimes. This isn’t team sky we’re talking about, with medics on speed dial and drugs available left right and centre; it’s a bunch of endurbros just trying to make a living.
Simon Yates is a good example of this. Team made a mistake that they knew could/would lead to a ban. He stopped racing right away, and a chunk ban was served retrospectively
The current trend to protect only the knee but leave the lower leg exposed is about fashion not protection.
Same with the whole no gloves and elbow pads thing.
How many serious injuries could be avoided with a little more coverage?
Bike racing is not a fashion show.
There's a reason everyone is racing with colorful matching kits these days- it's not for performance sake. It's silly, but, it's also the reality of the sport and people in general. Looks matter, and as such, people will make decisions based on that.
The length of the treatment of the drugs and the half life of the drugs combined with the timing of the test itself makes the excuse at best dubious. Compounded by the no phone service in an area of New Zealand that wouldn't be that far to get back into phone service. Further compounded by the doctor saying "risk of infection" not "badly infected" as people on this forum seem to think.
Ignorance is not really an excuse. The punishment is, if anything, light for the contravention combined with the plausibility of the denial.
I believe these three transgressions are the tip of the iceberg. It is just a shame that the EWS is proving themselves hypocrites and cowards by backing down from the lifetime bans the very first instances it has arisen.
"Probenecid is not routinely recommended in combination with oral antibiotics"
Followed shortly by this
"Probenecid is prohibited at all times by the World Anti-Doping Agency and should not be prescribed to elite athletes as it may be used as a masking agent."
"Die Medikamentenabfrage NADAmed könnt ihr jederzeit auch offline verwenden. So erhaltet ihr schnelle Auskunft über die Dopingrelevanz von Medikamenten."
More realistically, you'd refer to a "one true source" that's revision controlled, on a UCI sharepoint or the like. This is what they were likely unable to access when Martin took the medication.
It sounds stupid, but maintaining up to date, rev controlled documentation is easy on paper (pun intended), but it is hard in reality. Companies of all shapes and sizes struggle with it daily, from manufacturing to bike racing.
In the end, it's a situation that sucks. Maybe Maes is a legit doper who got caught. Maybe he just cared about getting better, and this is an unlucky consequence. We'll never know for sure, so we have to levy our own judgement. I choose to be optimistic about it, but ultimately I don't fault anyone who takes the cynical route. Either way, managing that level of detail from both UCI's side and rider standpoints is tough.
Agreed that it’s a shit situation regardless
I have an old picture from a bike race at the beginning of the 20th century where dudes on road bikes are slamming what looks like beer. The further the cycling culture gets away from that the more of this bullshit you’re going to see.
10.12.1 Prohibition against Participation during ineligibility
No Athlete or other Person who has been declared Ineligible may, during the period of Ineligibility, participate in any capacity in a Competition or activity (other than authorized anti-doping education or rehabilitation programs) authorizedor organized by any Signatory, Signatory’s member organization, or a club or other member organization of a Signatory’s member organization, or in Competitions authorized or organized by any professional league or any International- or national-level Event organization or any elite or national-level sporting activity funded by a governmental agency.
I'm not here to assume guilt, and yay to the UCI for catching dopers - but one does wonder if the TUE would be accepted if it was lodged by a protour rider?
However, moving forward, I don't understand why doctors would even bring certain medicines to a race that they [should] know are on the banned substance WADA list. I mean, if there were alternatives, do the homework ahead of time and just don't bring anything to the race on the list. Also, if it's a serious as it was, maybe have a separate first aid kit labeled "this kit contains life saving medicine that is on the banned list, use only for super serious injuries and consult with rider ahead of time!"
Hands up if you are a die hard fan boy and cant get enough of that koolaid stuff. Vote "BAD UCI". #martinisinnocent #iridelargecassettes #wannabeelikemyheros
Hands up if you are totally uninterested in the big brand media circus that is pervading our sport and making people like roadie sheep, keeping up with the Jones´s Vote "MTB 4 LIFE" #justrideyourbike #enduroisntracing
why would they not do this? The teams don't have the resources to manage, but the UCI sure does.
I trully hope everyone's clean tho.
And Martin, please, go f*cking kill it next year!
Martin/GT defenitely handles it better, or can speak frankly cause there is no secon party involved
I think the second sounds worse when you put it in those terms.
Guess the UCI would rather have racers without legs.
They've been using Probenecid for that very reason since WWII where they used it to extend Penicillin supplies in field hospitals. I don't know if there was some dark ulterior motive here but the use of this drug in the situation described in the article is legitimate.
IMPO, it looks like an over reaction. The doping enforcement was lax and it got out of hand, now they're going overboard and the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Some of the things on the Restricted List are just......Wow, Really???
In the big picture, the UCI continues to come up with new and interesting ways of making me less and less impressed with them on an almost weekly basis..... Pass the Popcorn Please.....
1) Why was the doctor not informed about banned substances?
2) If communications were known to be bad - perhaps the organisers should have an onsite satellite phone.
3) If he lost his leg because he didn't take a drug for fear of breaking anti-doping rules that was a banned substance - Can Martin/GT take legal action against the UCI/EWS?
This seems like an exceptional case. The UCI should have given the TUES and then reviewed their rules and procedures.
You can't have Both Martin. You either accept the decision or you are not guilty, you cannot have both. If you accept the decision then you also accept guilt.
The mistake wasn't not checking AFTER taking the drug. The mistake was not checking BEFORE taking it.
You seen very confused.
Someone get f****** up ... i guess it's better to be a US champs with drugs in the blood than an European with a clear situation.
Shame on UCI and WADA.
"....Originally we thought the probenecid was an antibiotic and that's the big mistake...."
Dude, come on. Seriously, you are responsible for what you put in your body, and why. Pure and simple.
BTW... There's this APP you should get for you're phone. Its called google...! What an idiot.
Probenicid is a masking agent for anabolic steroids. Like proper doping. Not a bit of preworkout that is a bit too turbo.
If Martin's story is 100% legit it is really unfortunate for him, but no way he could have been given a free pass.
The penalty is actually pretty light for what he has been popped for.
Good luck Martin, et courage!!!
This seems about as honest a "mistake" as someone can make. It's a common problem with governing bodies, when the rules themselves become more important than the spirit of the rules and why they're there in the first place. It's sad.
The racers do have a meaning full way to protest and I hope they do! Band together and stop racing until Mr. Maes results are reinstated and an apology is issued along with a promise from the UCI to amend their operating procedures going forward to first protect the people they are "governing" with educated compassion.
Only the top racers are going to earn a cash prize, and their livelihood is likely primarily supported by sponsors. If I was a racer (I know I am not and therefore my opinion actually does not matter), I would just go trail riding, take some photos, drink some cafe, then post some genuinely fun filled images to social media because that is what the fans really want to see!
Validating everything we have expected of you. You got involved with EWS, and are immediately making stupid existing that can’t even be reasonably explained. You suck.
"ALWAYS CARRY YOUR BOOZE !!! You've fought for water-bottle mounts in your frame, then use it."
Side note - all you guys that smoke a joint before you ride, you're all drug cheats in WADAs eyes:
Oh wait that was last year.
A swiss MD
They new it should be checked. They tried (but no reception) so they couldn't phone someone?
(russian olimpic team)
'will my fantasy team also be stripped of points?' :o
It's pretty much the basics ffs.
Good read. System seems broken to me.
First, how does this affect the results of the Fantasy Enduro League? will they be re-assessed?
Second, will people be stripped of their prizes for supporting a drug cheat? does this make them complicit cheaters and will they be kicked out of the league?
Third, was this the same doctor who filled up Jared's and Richie's water bottles?
It probably doesn't help, but in my eyes you earned those 1st place finishes fair and square. We all know what a beast you are, and having integrity and being an example for the younger kids in this sport is more important than winning the title (which you've already proved you're capable of).
I am a race promoter. I want to design a race that gets manufactures to send paid racers to my race. In theory those racers are showcasing that product so well that people want to watch it (and bike brands want to continue to send their racers to show off the product). At some point I might even be able to sell the coverage of the race itself and make some money off that. (enter Red Bull with its magic content marketing machine which skips a few steps-----> make advertising money off the race. HOW ON GODS GREEN EARTH DOES GOVERNING A “SPORT” IN THIS WAY HELP ANY OF THAT!!!
Doping has always happened at top level sports hence the drug tests, they are there for a reason n if a rider fails a drug test that’s their or the teams fault. No matter the excuse they failed live with it get clean and race again to prove everyone wrong.
Maes would have been tested last year after winning a DH World Cup by the UCI and must have been clean then.
Reading is hard.
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