I think that we'll see more of this among Masters' racers who want to remain competitive and are fighting the realities of aging. It is VERY hard to let go of the strength and power you had in youth, even when you know that it's part of the natural aging process. When I am too old to race I will walk away -- with big tears rolling down my cheeks, to be sure -- but I will listen to my body and, hopefully, know when it is time to stop.
Chuck Coyle Busted for EPO – UPDATED
Just days after USADA suspended Masters cyclist Neal Schubel for using EPO, today the anti-doping agency announced the suspension of 38 year-old Chuck Coyle. Coyle is a long-time racer based out of Boulder, CO, and up until today he raced for and was a part owner of the prominent Hüdz-Vista Subaru cyclocross team. Upon learning of his two-year suspension from competition, Coyle also gave up any ownership stake in the team.
According to the USADA in a press release, “Charles ‘Chuck’ Coyle, of Boulder, Colorado, has accepted a two-year period of ineligibility for an anti-doping rule violation based on his purchase, possession and use of synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) and insulin growth factor (IGF-1).”
The suspension runs for two years, but Coyle’s results will be purged dating back to June 13, 2007, when the USADA says the doping violations began, according to evidence the organization has obtained. Much like with Neal Schubel’s suspension, Coyle was confronted with gathered evidence and did not fail any drug tests. According to USADA, “…[Coyle] accepted the penalty after investigators presented evidence of purchases of illicit performance-enhancing drugs dating back to June 13, 2007. Under UCI and USADA rules, Coyle will be required to return any prizes earned since that date.”
“Chuck called me as soon as the story broke today, which was shortly after he left the USADA. He told me his side of the story, and said that obviously he was not going to be racing any more, and that for the good of the team he was surrendering his ownership interest,” said Lance Johnson, Hüdz owner and director of the cyclocross team. “No one has provided our team with the specifics of this case, so we cannot comment on them. Ultimately they relate to events that would have transpired before we had even formed the team, so they have nothing to do with our program.”
“Without question, there is no room in our program for doping, cheating, grey areas or anything else that is less than sporting. Those of us running the team are unwaveringly passionate about cyclocross and the future of the sport,” continued Johnson. “We celebrate the juvenile joy of getting muddy, the purity of intense suffering, and ultimately one racer on one course doing their honorable best. Hüdz and the team will continue to support cyclocross and cyclists everywhere who are doing it the right way. We’ll fight for the future of the sport and do everything we can to see that cyclocross stays clean.”
In 2007, Coyle rode for the Successful Living professional road team. Before that, he had a long stint with the elite Boulder-based Vitamin Cottage team.
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I'm with Ima on this one. It's not like this is a European pro who needed to get a contract to feed his family, but I'm also not an elite athlete so I can't say I have any relevant personal experience. I'm not judging Chuck, and given the other masters' positives that have surfaced recently he's certainly not the only one.
My only beef with Ima is that I prefer the term "wanker" to describe my situation. I'm not lazy, just inept.
I don't get it. I just don't get it. 99.9% of us, including Coyle and Schubel, are just "slobs" out there riding our bikes for what should be fun, enjoyment, and for the sport of it. I guess I am just an ignorant fool. I am not judging anyone. I just am trying to wrap my head around the "why" part of it and I can't.
The guys getting busted recently do not look like they ever had anything special in the first place given their results?!? I'm also noticing recently that some masters that had heretofore been pretty unbeatable are now finishing back in the pack?!? Are they getting older or getting scared that they will be caught due to the recent media reports about the busts that are going to come from the Papp revelations. Some of the high profile racers who have their own blogs seem to be supporting the guys who are getting busted?!? I'm furious to know that a few guys who have beaten me at races have been busted for cheating during this period. Why aren't these blogger guys angry as well?? I think we can make a guess about that. Just a bunch of people without any ethics or morals cheating their fellow racers. I think they should pop some surprise visits to some of these guys like they did to nail Dickey. Get them the F#@k out of here.
It doesn't really matter how old or young you are or if you're a professional or an amateur. It's competition and it's sport. People like the competition and they like to fight for the win. People will fight tooth and nail for a $10,000 prize or a $5 trophy. If you're a competitive athlete, you will understand what I am saying. It's no great mystery why some people dope. Some people just feel that they can flaunt the rules and that they'll never get caught. The prisons are full of people who think like that.
That said, there are rules in sports and specifically, in cycling. Certain substances are legal, some are in grey areas and some are outright banned. Some people choose to take the banned substances to get ahead. Some get caught and alot don't. They do it because like all of us, they're looking for an edge. Their problem is that they chose to ignore the fact that certain edges are prohibited and they go down that road. They take the illegal and prohibited shortcut because they want to win. Most people heed the rules and do not.
Don't feel pity for these guys. They made the choice to break the rules. Good riddance I say.