Friday, March 4, 2016

Western States Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy on PEDs

Despite my best efforts not to mix my work with this blog, I can't help but share the video from an amazing event in Boulder where I presented. The event, "Liquid Sugar: Drinking Ourselves to Disease," was held at eTown and had some incredible speakers. My very short talk starts at about the 41-minute mark and is only about 8 minutes long. Check it out. All of the speakers were top-notch. I am definitely bald and need to just shave my head bare!


I'm getting over a horrendous back injury that kept me from running a step for three days. Not sure what happened but on Monday morning I woke up and ran a few miles and did a lower-body workout. While making breakfast afterward, I could tell my back wasn't right. Soon afterward, I had trouble walking. Tuesday was horrendous--I literally could barely walk. Wednesday was slightly better but still awful. This morning, I was finally able to run but my back was still stiff and so my pace was slow. I decided I'd run only if I had no pain. The worst seems to be behind me. My best guess is that I sprained my back. Last weekend I did ski and do a few tricks--maybe that tweaked it and then the running and weights on Monday sent me over the edge. Not sure but this was a brutal injury and I'm so glad it's finally getting better.

With that, what was supposed to be a good week, in which I wanted to get in 75 or more miles, is looking to be a total wash. That said, it's all good because the training has been solid so far this year. Western States and Leadville are fast-approaching and I'll be ready for them!


A few weeks ago, the Western States Endurance Run board announced a new policy on performance enhancing drugs. Here's the actual policy:
The Western States Endurance Run has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Any athlete who has been determined to have violated anti-doping rules or policies, whether enforced by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), or any other national sports federation is ineligible for entry into the Western States Endurance Run. The Western States Endurance Run reserves the right to conduct pre and post-competition testing for any and all performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) listed on the current WADA Prohibited List. Any athlete who refuses to submit to anti-doping controls, if selected for testing, shall be disqualified and subject to a lifetime ban from the Western States Endurance Run.
The new policy was announced on WSER's Facebook page. Perusing the comments and reading other feedback, I was honestly blown away by some of the questions. Most folks commenting offered positive feedback but quite a few seemed bent on picking the policy apart with bizarre questions about false positives, therapeutic use exemptions, Lance Armstrong (why can't he just go away?), etc. A few charged that this rule was nothing but a way to keep Armstrong from ever getting into States (I'm all for keeping him out).

Maybe I'm simple-minded but the policy seems straightforward-enough to me. Whatever the case, reading some of the comments, it was another display of the pattern of a growing number of self-important ultrarunners pretending we're "elite" athletes when in fact most of us are just weekend warriors who will never, ever be tested because we'll never, ever win any races.

And, for those who are still freaking out over whether or not they're accidentally taking something on the WADA list that will get them a lifetime ban, here it is.


Now, go run!

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