OK. Call me naive, but I really didn't want to hear the news that US Master's racer Kenny Williams tested positive for DHEA at the Masters Track Nationals this past August. Williams is a former US Criterium and track pursuit champion and had won both the kilometer and 3000-meter pursuit (setting a world record) in the Men's 40-44 age division at the recent championships.
Argh! Argh! And triple Argh! C'mon, this just sucks. It is one thing for riders to dope when a Tour de France yellow jersey and big bucks are on the line, but this is a Master's Championship and about all that comes with that is bragging rights to your friends and family which is about a party of five.
It is really saddening that someone would take such drastic measures to win a Master's National Championship, but the worst part of this whole tragic affair is that this is probably not an isolated incident. Some of my master's racer friends have long maintained that there is doping to some scale at the master's level.
Forget doping, how about the case of Phil Guarnaccia(the fact that I remember his name off the top of my head is, well, frightening) who lied about his age for years. He just looked so old that nobody bothered to check his age. He won numerous national titles competing against guys who were 15 years older than him.
Back to the case of Kenny Williams, it just goes to show that there is cheating at all levels of the sport and that just deepens my sadness. I love to ride my bike and had a great ride this afternoon and I am trying darn hard not to let these cheaters cheapen my sport.
I think it is time that USA Cycling increase its dues proportionally to fund doping control for all levels of racing in the United States. You race, you get tested. It's that simple. I am not sure that USA Cycling needs to start an out-of-competition testing program for all it's licensees, but testing the winners of races, regardless of the category is a good first step.
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