Amateur US Cyclist Gets Slapped with Four-Year Suspension for Steroids
The USA Cycling organization hasn’t been shy about running down their older, recreational cyclists and pushing them out of competition. In the last few years that they have been more aggressively targeting older, recreational cyclists with anti-doping protocols – and a number of them have allowed this organization to get rid of a handful of athletes found to be doping.
Just recently, a 48-year-old amateur cyclist named David Pate has found himself in the crosshairs of USA Cycling. His suspension was handed down after analysis of an in competition urine sample collected in August 2018, a sample that has come back positive for anabolic steroids.
Pate was stunned to learn that he was asked to submit a performance-enhancing drug sample before he competed in Jackson, Mississippi, particularly since he is a recreational cyclist and has never had or shown any interest in going pro. On top of that, the 48-year-old commented that he felt himself past his cycling prime and wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the “young kids” dominating the sport – and yet USA Cycling decided to go aggressively against this individual to see if he was doping.
It didn’t take long for USA Cycling to come back and state that Pate had in fact tested positive for anabolic steroid, but that they weren’t going to release the name of the steroid or performance-enhancing drug substance that he had tested positive for.
This is pretty unusual, particularly when we are talking about amateur and recreational competitors that are usually interested in having a bit of fun as opposed to winning awards, setting records, or cashing checks.
Pate, for his part, believes that USA Cycling is just going after the older guard in the community for one reason or another. He understands that a fair share of older cyclists are likely to receive doctor prescribed testosterone as part of a hormone replacement therapy protocol, and that many of them might be uncomfortable about sharing this information with those that they meet during these recreational events.
He feels that he has been targeted unfairly by USA Cycling because he himself is a man of that particular age group that more often turn to anabolic steroids (again, prescribed by medical professionals) to look and feel much younger than Father Time wants them to. It isn’t at all unusual for a 48-year-old man to be using testosterone as part of Hormone Replacement Therapy, though it would have necessitated a Therapeutic Use Exemption – but those are really only ever brought up during legitimate competitions as opposed to recreational events.
USA Cycling has refused to explain why they were so aggressive in going after any amateur cyclist classified as a Category 5 (the lowest category, and the most now this category, in the USA Cycling membership rankings). Outsiders cannot come up with any reasoning behind why this organization would want to move so aggressively against a middle of the pack, older and recreational cyclist that’s just out there to have a good time.
All the same, because of the positive test Pate is no longer eligible to be a member of USA Cycling as an organization. He will not be eligible for reinstatement until he is 52 years old (in 2022), though it’s unlikely that he will have little or any interest in rejoining a group with priorities like this.
The international community has condemned the aggressive behavior exhibited by USA Cycling against older men, and some believe they are only doing so because they are paid so well for administering anti-doping tests on behalf of the US ADA.
Who knows if we’ll ever be able to get down to the truth of what’s really going on behind the scenes at USA Cycling. Right now, though, it isn’t pretty.