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Not more controversy

So I was boring the misses with all things triathlon the other night, and extolling the virtues of one Chrissie W and her back to back wins in Kona. I happened to mention that prior to her first win no-one really knew who she was.

Misses replied 'Well its obvious what she's done... she's on drugs!'. Now I don't for one second think this, I honestly believe that Ms W is just a supremely talented endurance athlete and I have nothing but admiration for her. One of my heroes really.

Did get me thinking though... Are elite triathletes rigorously tested? Have any been found out? And does anyone know where I can find something 'extra' to make me win at Kona?

Seriously, I have no strong views on this, just thought it might illicit some interesting responses.



  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    From reading the rules for the entry for this years IMUK, i think its the top 5 athletes in every age group are tested after the race, as well as the pros, and that everything is run through the WADA. If the pros are being tested through the WADA, then it means that they will be part of the new whereabouts system where they have to provide an hour every day where they can be tested, so they will be randomly tested a few times a year.

    And with triathlon being mostly an individual sport, the incentive for doping isnt as great as it is in say cycling. Having said that though, with EPO giving you an instant 20% increase in performance in a trained athlete I can see the temptation for athletes, especially those pros trying to beat the dominance of Chrissie, and Alexander, Macca etc, and those desperate to get to Kona
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    There have been a few notable tri positives, but not too many, not sure if that is due to not testing as much as some sports, or less drug use.

    Whilst I cannot claim to be a personal friend of Chrissie & with the caveat that you never really 'know' anyone, I do know her and until this was raised I never thought for a second that drugs may be involved in her success, she was good from the word go, decided to take the pulnge & turn pro, worked very hard & won, won & won again. She really does not strike me as a win at all costs person who would resort to that level to win.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987

    As for Chrissie W - it's only the perception that she's 'come from nowhere'. The only reason we haven't heard of her is because the US, UK and most other tri related publications largely ignored her despite a successful long course career already in the bag. She'd been kicking ass in triathlon for some time.

    Her first (amateur) triathlon was the Eaton Super Sprint in May 04, aged 26. She won Kona in October 07. I'd be more likely to class this as coming from nowhere rather than being a successful previously ignored career.

    This is like suggesting I might be IM world champion in 2011. The whole idea is mind-blowing!

    I presume she must get extensively tested the same as eveyone else. It's sad that if someone does have success like Chrissie Wellington has there may well be eyebrows raised but that just seems to be the nature of the world we currenly live in.
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Remember she also world age group world champion in 2006 at Olympic distance.

    I think there is a bit more of a progression than the press have let on.

  • zoezoe Posts: 28
    Chrissie has won pretty much every triathlon she's raced, and with some very dodgy kit in the early days!

    She beat me in Salford in 2005 (? i think) by around 10 minutes... and I was second! She won her age-group in the worlds by about 15 minutes, and the entire race by 7 minutes or so.

    No-one had heard of her until her first Kona win, and her early ironman wins were accompanied by "well, there was no real competition there". I think she's proved a point since! The BTA were not too bothered with trying to support even after the win in Lausanne- she's obviously too old to make it as a pro at almost 30!

    I will not for a moment believe that Chrissie has even entertained the thought of drugs. She's just a machine!

  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    The 'whereabouts' system,for the first couple of years most athletes complained they couldn't use the system properly(as most are university based they must be really thick and heaven help us in the future).So some got off lightly,you know, world champ, miss a few tests,complain about the system and still get to 'compete' in the Olympics.

    The elites are tested,but as Triathlon is a minority sport not much money is ploughed into the testing.Kraft was a high profile hit by the tests after Kona.

    Maybe the question could be how many age groupers would fail?,when they turn up to race dosed up to their eyeballs in cold cure,paracetamol and whatever painkillers work.

    But if anyone asks 'You haven't seen me,but you believe me to be in Mexico'
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    My point,which I possibly didn't make too clear, was the stupidity of the whole testing system.The athlete can never win.You pass countless tests and your still called a cheat because you win,you miss the tests because of some fault with the system,you may be clean but you still lose.You clear your name but you lose in time and money spent,but also creditability.Diane Midahl spent years clearing her name,but those were her prime athletic years.

    Cheats do get caught,but others succeed,a new test is developed to detect,a new drug is developed to mask the effects.

    I could be contraversial and write about legalised doping but that could be a step too far.

    Is it acceptable for an age group athlete to take a medicine,which is on the banned list(but they do not know it),to cure an ailment and race in a local triathlon.If they win should they accept the prize?
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