Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Big, Bad, "D" Word...

Last month I was having lunch with Linsey Corbin and a couple of her sponsors in San Diego. The issue of drugs and sport came up, and of course a long-winded conversation followed. Linsey is a big proponent or ramping up testing in triathlon and she remarked that she was pissed she wasn't tested in Kona. Upon hearing that the fifth-place finisher at the sport's biggest race didn't receive even a urine test, I was a little ticked too. Not because I have any suspicions about Linsey herself, but the principle of not testing triathlon's top dogs at triathlon's marquee event is troubling. It makes me think it'd be a little too easy to get away with.

Before I go any further, I'd like it to be known that I don't think drug use runs rampant among triathletes. Triathlon has a much different culture from drug-riddled sports (cycling, track, bodybuilding (not that it's a sport), baseball). It's about the lifestyle as much (or more) as it's about competition and I like to believe MOST triathletes believe in a healthy lifestyle.

Among those at the lunch was Glynn Turquand from XTERRA Wetsuits. He too was shocked to hear of the lack of testing on the Big Island, and decided to do a little research. For the top five women, here's what he found...

1. Chrissie Wellington: Blood and urine test
2. Yvonne Van Vlerken: Urine only
3. Sandra Wallenhorst: Urine only (according to what she told another athlete)
4. Erika Csomor: We don't know yet
5. Linsey Corbin: No tests

Now, drug testing (especially blog tests) are extremely expensive, and until they become cheaper, we'll likely never see the amount of testing needed to ensure the sport is as clean as can be. However, this news has intrigued me, so I'm looking into learn a bit more. Look for more to come on this blog, on and in our mag.

If you've got any triathlon drug testing info you're eager to share, feel free to shoot me an e-mail (

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