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The Real Truth About Age Group Drug Testing, Doping In Triathlon and the Kevin Moats Story.

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Kevin-Moats

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Just a few days ago, in a press release that made shock-waves within the triathlon community, the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) announced it’s first anti-doping age group violation by Ironman triathlete Kevin Moats (pictured above), reporting:

“The Adverse Analytical Finding resulted from the administration of testosterone consistent with the World Anti Doping Agency’s Prohibited List and by the World Triathlon Corporation Anti-Doping Rules (WTC Rules).”

Of course, this comes at the same time as the controversial Lance Armstrong doping scandal, in which Lance has been given a lifetime ban from the sport of cycling (and most triathlons) by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for the alleged use of steroids, the blood booster EPO and blood transfusions.

I happen to know for a fact that many of the readers of this blog actually use bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and also use therapeutic testosterone for medical reasons, such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid) and andropause (clinically low levels of testosterone) – which is apparently what Kevin Moats was doing.

Technically, if you are using testosterone like this, you still need what is called a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) from your physician if you want to complete in a sanctioned even such as Ironman Triathlon.

So why didn’t Kevin Moats have a TUE, and why was he on testosterone in the first place?

And what exactly happens when you get “tested”?

Why was Kevin suspended for an anti-doping violation?

Is this something that you need to worry about if you’re using supplements or medications?

When can you use testosterone lotions or injections, and when is testosterone illegal?

Are there other things besides testosterone that you shouldn’t be using?

Find out the answers to all these questions and more in today’s audio interview with Kevin Moats…

Below is a full transcript of this interview with triathlete Kevin Moats, and then below that some other helpful links and the opportunity to leave your questions, comments and feedback.

Click here for the full written transcript.

If you found this episode interesting, you may also want to check out the article:  “Ben Greenfield Admits To Using Performance Enhancing Drugs”.

And also the very interesting interview with doping doctor Victor Conte on the Joe Rogan show, as well as this interview with Andrew Tillin, the “Doper Next Door” author, on Everymantri.

Also, here is the a link to the USADA Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) form: http://www.usada.org/tue/

Question, comments or feedback? What do you think about age group testing, doping in triathlon and the Kevin Moats story? Leave your thoughts below.

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21 Responses to “The Real Truth About Age Group Drug Testing, Doping In Triathlon and the Kevin Moats Story.”

  1. Chris Thompson says:

    I listened to the podcast today. Very interesting. Where do we draw the line? I can't access the written transcript right now (404 error). But, did I hear correctly that USAT won't allow any TUE for testosterone? What if we replace "testosterone" in this incident with "insulin"? Would a diabetic be stripped of a title for doping? What about a professional golfer that gets Lasik surgery and ends up with vision better than 20/20? Should they be banned? I don't know what the answer is. But, there should be a distinction between blatant dopers trying to artificially boost performance, and those trying to live normal lives.

  2. Terry says:

    I believe Kevin Moats should be banned from race competition for life. The dude has been juicing for years and he got caught. He seemed to have great memory for some things and very little for others. Mr Ben, if you get him again please ask: how much was he juicing ? How long ? What effect on speed, endurance, recovery, strength did he get from being a juice man ? Does he still juice ?

    He's fortunate to have found a juice doctor, I wonder how many more "patients" are in line ?

    • From my standpoint, he seemed to imply in the interview that has race times “remained the same” on and off testosterone, but that his quality of life improved (i.e. not being depressed). You should check out the book “Doper Next Door” to read about how easy it is to get this stuff prescribed if desired…

      • mike says:

        Ben… What would you expect him say?? That it helped him kick everyone's arse all these years? He's got his head in the sand if he expects anyone to believe that Teeing Up didn't help his race times.

  3. Kyle says:

    There were a few things I found odd about Kevin’s tale. The first is that it’s true being hypothyroid causes low testosterone but the treatment is fixing the thyroid problem. The testosterone returns to normal after the thyroid is replaced. The second is that he said a couple of times that age groupers didn’t need a TUE for medications NOT known to be performance enhancers. Everyone knows testosterone doesn’t fall in that catagory.
    I’m glad USADA takes such a hard stance on testosterone. Some people can get a 2 to 3 gm/dl hemoglobin increase from testosterone which is what all the blood transfusions and EPO were aimed at doing in cycling. It’s also quite possible that testosterone can let you train and recover more since T is often suppressed with very hard exercise or other stress. It’s also pretty easy to find docs that don’t really know how to work up testosterone deficiency and are quick to write a prescription. It’s also possible to suppress your T with hard training, lack of sleep, etc; and very easy to suppress your T with exogenous testosterone. So it’s not hard to get a prescription and once you have a prescription it wouldn’t be difficult to then use the prescribed medicine to dope.
    As a physician I hear requests for testosterone testing all the time. We don’t know that replacing it is safe in men that are mildly low. Doctors can’t agree on what a normal or low level is, and there certainly isn’t agreement on a “healthy” level. The level changes throughout the day and month and can be affected by many different things going on in your life. If someone chooses to use a medication to “replace” something they’ve probably lowered by over-training, that’s fine. But it’s unfair for them to have access to a performance enhancer like that, even if prescribed, that other people don’t have access too.
    In Kevin’s case; he should have had his thyroid replaced and his testosterone rechecked. Even then his doctor should have checked multiple levels and not checked when he was sick or training hard before they even discussed replacement. And I can’t believe he didn’t know he should report using a banned substance even under the eye of a physician. I think he doped. Glad he got popped.

  4. mkgh says:

    OMG! Just look at the photo of this guy. He looks like 2% body fat. Oh, yea sure the T has nothing to do with body fat and the body fat of a 20-something has nothing to do with a better performance. I think that's the point. I'd call that cheating.

  5. T. McGee says:

    Ben, On first blush one can easily jump on the “hate Kevin” bandwagon, however, after some digging I’m not so sure one should. The facts are pretty clear that the Doping rules were ambiguous at best if not misleading. The arbiter was right to admonish the WTC and governing bodies for the loose language surrounding TUE’s and process, and directing them to tighten the language. For this reason I submit that Kevin Moats should not have been banned.It’s clear to me, regardless of Kevin Moats intent (of which only he can speak to) he appears to be only guilty of really bad judgment, (or playing with the rules?). I think that given the type of Ban that was levied against Kevin, the governing bodies know Kevin and council are correct. I see this as a way to try and save face and as well perhaps, send a strong message to those would be cheaters that they are being watching.
    My beef with this ban is that Kevin Moats has now been painted with a brush that arguably he should not have been painted with. If he was honest about how he viewed the WTC rules and honest about his condition etc, then how does he recover from this?

    • Derek says:

      Or…. He found a loop hole, exploited that loophole, and than was wealthy enough to hire the best lawyer in the business to argue his case for him.

      • T. McGee says:

        Derek, (loop hole) That's very possible and not a fact that should be lost in this conversation. The issues is what did the rules or lack of rules allow Kevin to do. WTC didn't do a good job and left a lot of ambiguity in the process/information. Kevin and likely others took advantage and here we are today. I never said that Kevin wasnt trying to gain an advantage, I did say that the rules and process allowed him to do so. Kevin is likely the only one who can speak to his intent…what was really in his heart, was it his health he was looking to protect or was it an "edge" over other athletes….only he would know. In the end, the WTC didn't have a good case, Kevin did, and likely should not have been punished. I"m sure there are legal folks out there who could shed a better light on this.

  6. Brian says:

    Ben-
    I find it difficult to believe an Ivy league graduate with an Ivy league MBA, who has a 25 year history of elite age group Ironman results (as well as PB open marathons in the 2:20's from his 20's), would argue – through an attorney who specializes in defending professional athletes- that he didn't need to apply for a TUE over the past 6 years while taking exogenous testosterone. Did he argue a level of 400 is "normal" for a man over 50- assuming 800 is normal for 20-30- somethings? To my understanding, below 300 is considered low, but that everyone has their own "normal". If Kevin's T was less than 100, and symptomatic, I can understand the interest in treating that, but I wonder at what level one starts to enjoy a training/recovery/ racing benefit- 300, 400?
    Kevin Moats is clearly a world class masters athlete, but it's difficult to believe he didn't experience some performance benefit over the past 6 years. I'm mid-50's, my T is half of what it was at 45, I'm more fatigued, not as strong, and recover more slowly now- that's normal as one ages.
    Great interview Ben- thanks

  7. Ray says:

    I think it sounds reasonable that they should have tested his overall T level.

    There's a substantial difference between therapeutic doses of testosterone and stacking together three or four things.

  8. Olivier says:

    Interesting interview!
    I believe that Kevin would never get a TUE if he applied for it. It is highly unlikely that he has a medical condition driving his T levels down. Ironman training is physiologically damaging and certainly not the healthiest thing you can do. To see whether his low T levels are due to a medical condition or simply due to 20+ training weeks, he would need to reduce his training volume. I assume that his T levels would go up immediately and he wouldn't need any treatment; dame things with his thyroid hormone levels. The fact is that he wants to feel good while on a high training load. Who can do that at his age at the level he is currently performing? Probably no one, without pharmaceutical help.
    He keeps claiming that he just took what was necessary to put him in the normal range. I believe that this amount of exogenous T, with reduced training load, would catapult him above the normal range.
    What he did was cheating. If he wants to feel good, then he should take the stuff but stay away from racing, to allow his fellow age groupers to enjoy an even playing field. How many people in his age group would benefit from a testosterone boost? All of them.

  9. Susan says:

    I checked the rules when I needed a med, and they were a little confusing, but they led to a chart that showed which drugs needed a TUE (banned in and out of competition), and which did not. Then you just looked up the drug on USADA to see if it was banned. I concluded I needed a TUE, so I got one. It wasn't that hard to figure out.

    His testosterone level would be relevant if he were applying for a TUE, but they are irrelevant when asking the question, "Did he take a banned drug?"

  10. Paolo says:

    Ok, when I reach the hard work period I’m under 40 of hematocrit and the hemoglobin is also under the minimum. So, according to Mr. Just_followed_the_instrutions_of WTC Website, I can take liters of EPO. Ridiculous …

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  14. Mark Christopher says:

    The rules should be made simpler, you need a banned drug don't race. Enough of these docs prescribing everything under the sun, please.

  15. Volker says:

    This interview is the same style as Lance's.
    (I get sick listeneing to this!)

    Here is the story of one of his long term competitiors: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2012/nov/23/dealin

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