by ALP Cycles Coach Patricia Schwager
As a license holder of USA Cycling, you have to be aware that you can get drug tested; no matter at which level you are racing (professional, amature, local). This is because USAC is a recognized sport of the United States Olympic Committee. For this reason it is super important that you know the anti-doping rules.
If you are in a registered testing pool (RTP), then you are required to fill-out anti-doping whereabouts 365 days a year. You can get tested in & out of competition. If you are in the international testing pool (ITP), the same rules apply as for the RTP with 1 addition. The athlete must provide a specific 60min time slot every day between 5am-11pm that anchors the athlete to a specific location. All athletes are responsible for updating their whereabouts at all times- 3 missed tests within 12 months would lead to a positive test. Filling out whereabouts and getting frequently tested is part of being a pro athlete. Things are a bit different if you are not registered in a testing pool. You have no work with keeping whereabouts updated, but you still can get tested in competition. Even at a local race!
If you get tested at a race / competition then most of the times a chaperone is waiting for you after the finish and will tell you that you got picked for the anti-doping test. You have to sign a notification paper and the chaperone will accompany you as a ”shadow” to the control station. Sometimes there are no chaperones; you are responsible to check if there is an anti-doping control and if so which bib numbers got drawn for the control. DNF doesn’t save you from testing you still can get choosen. This is really important as a missed test will count as a positive test. If you have to go to an Anti-doping test you have your rights but you must also follow the rules. You may be required to provide a urine sample, a blood sample or both. It is very important that you declare all medication and supplements that you are using on the testing form. The following link to Anti-doping 101 for Athletes explains the procedures: http://www.usada.org/athletes/antidoping101/
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) prohibited list is the international standard for identifying substances and methods prohibited in sport. Broken down by categories, the list identifies which substances and methods are prohibited in-competition, out-of-competition or in some cases by specific sport. The list gets updated annually. That means as an athlete you have to be very careful when taking any medications or supplements. You and you alone are responsible for what you put in your body. Also be aware that things you take can last in your body and can leave a trace in your body for a longer time. A good example here is the use of marijuana and cannabinoids, both substances are prohibited in-competition.
Never ever just take something assuming it will be ok- if you are unsure don’t take it. Ask before you buy medication or a supplement and ask your doctor before he/ she prescribes your medication. Always double check, making sure that you are looking for the exact name of the product. You can check it online: http://www.globaldro.com/ or for supplements you can check it here: https://www.usada.org/substances/supplement-411/ Or you can call the drug reference phone line: 719-785-2000 press option 2.
Ask your ALP Cycles Coach about advice/ help if you are unsure about the antidoping rules!
If you are on strong medications, then you shouldn’t be racing. Your head has to be in the game while racing and being on some sort of painkiller drugs, for example, can affect your health and performance.
In some situations, you may have an illness or condition that requires the use of a prohibited medication. In this case you have to file a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemptions). But you need to do that well in advance of a competition/ race and USADA has to approve it. Do NOT race or compete while your TUE is pending as it is not officially approved and therefore you will not be exempt. For more information about TUE process, please visit: https://www.usada.org/substances/tue/
more helpful links: