A 65-year-old man from Alburquerque, New Mexico, has accepted a two-year ban from United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after refusing to provide a sample after breaking a record at a tandem time trial event.
John Frey competed at the Paula Higgins Memorial Time Trial, a USA Cycling sanctioned event, on 4 September 2023 when he and his tandem partner set what officials believed to be a new record in the event.
As part of the ratifying process, Frey was required to provide a sample to a doping control officer who arrived a short time later. The 65-year-old refused to be tested and is subject to a two-year period of ineligibility, the "default sanction" for recreational athletes who evade testing, or refuse or fail to provide a sample.
Frey's sanction began on 20 November, the date he accepted the sanction, and his competitive results on and subsequent to 4 September 2023 have been disqualified, including the forfeiture of any medals, points, records and prizes.
USADA explained that either "evading sample collection or refusing or failing to provide a sample without compelling justification" would constitute an anti-doping violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy, and the International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
In 2021, a masters racer from California accepted a four-year suspension after he tested positive for 10 different prohibited substances, including Testosterone, Nandrolone, a number of growth hormones and Anastrozole, a hormone and metabolic modulator.
USADA said that Vahe Aivazian was caught through testing but also with the help of tip-offs from others in the sport. Information showed Aivazian had purchased products containing five different prohibited substances, before USADA received additional evidence in January and February 2021. Further investigations then uncovered a total of 10 substances that Aivazian either possessed, used or had attempted to use.
Closer to home we have seen doping in the older racing age categories too, disgraced British Masters 35-39 champion Andrew Hastings, who was at the time banned from all sport after testing positive for two different types of anabolic steroids, appeared on Channel 4's popular reality show SAS: Who Dares Wins.
And 2016 was a big year for amateur doping scandals, with national 12-hour time trial champion Robin Townsend, banned for four years after testing positive for the stimulant modafinil, claiming his positive was the result of his drink being spiked by a rival.
A year later and a concerning story came out of Italy with a 14-year-old cyclist believed to be the youngest rider ever to have failed an anti-doping control, the teenager testing positive for the powerful anabolic agent Mesterolone following a regional race.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.