Cat 3 Cyclocross Racer Daniel Baker Accepts USADA Sanction for Testosterone Use

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Think drugs are only a problem at the professional level? Daniel Baker, a Cat 3 cyclocross racer from Massachusetts tested positive for anabolic steroids at the 2013 GP of Gloucester, where he finished 26th and 8th in the two days of Cat 3 racing (see a possible snapshot of Baker’s race results on USA Cycling and CrossResults). With the growing popularity of testosterone supplements (and media commercials), it’s also a reminder that athletes of all levels need to have Therapeutic Use Exemptions as drug testing expands beyond just professional ranks. Full USADA press release below. 

 

USADA sanctions Daniel Dan BakerUS Cycling Athlete, Baker, Accepts Sanction for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

Colorado Springs, Colo. January 24, 2014 - USADA announced today that Daniel Baker, of Brighton, Mass., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a two-year suspension for his offense.

Baker, 37, tested positive for the presence of an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid and/or its metabolites, which was confirmed by CIR (GC/C/IRMS) analysis, as the result of an in-competition urine sample collected September 29, 2013, at the Grand Prix of Gloucester.  Anabolic Androgenic Steroids are prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Cycling Union (“UCI”) Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Baker was taking synthetic testosterone in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician and although he disclosed that information during the sample collection, he did not follow the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) requirements prior to competing.

Baker’s two-year period of ineligibility began on September 29, 2013, the date the sample was collected. As a result of the violation, Baker has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to September 29, 2013, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.

 

 

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41 comments
Danger Zinniker
Danger Zinniker

Wait a second.... Testosterone is a banned substance?! Unbelievable! What next, you are going to tell me Erythropoietin is as well?!

Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson

I do find it funny that after years of having their head in the sand with the pros USAC is now focusing their efforts on Cat 3's & masters!

Greg Wright
Greg Wright

I don't have the exact answer to Jeff Sanford, but I can imagine a couple of plausible answers, one of which I gave to Jeff just now, posted elsewhere in this thread. I think Dan knew that testosterone was a banned substance, but thought that since he had a physician prescription that it was within the rules. His mistake to not become familiar with the rules, he admits, although from his perspective he isn't trying to cheat anyone( nor in my opinion has he). My understanding is that it's impossible to get a TUE for testosterone through USADA. And so clearly any physician prescribing it to a cyclist with a USA Cycling license might want to advise. I am sure his did not. I just cannot think of a better person in this world, for whom this rule makes no sense, as Dan. Because of doctors like Michele Ferrari, Luigi Cecchini, Eufemiano Fuentes, Francesco Conconi, Ilario Casoni, Giovanni Grazzi, Carlos Santuccio, Gianni Mazzoni, Eric Rijkaert, Jose Merino Batres, Markus Choina, Lothar Heinrich, Andreas Schmid, Andreas Blum, Stefan Vogt, Stephan Prettin, Carsten Temme, Georg Huber, Herman Falsetti, Jean-Jacques Menuet, Pedro Celaya, and probably many others, USADA and WADA do not trust doctors. And for good reason, as the list is very long, growing, and likely incomplete. But I believe the vast majority of doctors, who happen to be the physicians of cyclists, are not doping their patients.

Greg Wright
Greg Wright

Because he knew he was being tested and wanted the testers to know he wasn't trying to hide anything. He was telling them what they would likely find. And that is all they found. You don't know him. I do. This is an example of how rules to stop cheaters can sometimes produce an ill-desired result. I understand the rules as well as anybody. I know why the rules are the way they are, and it is because people cheat. Dan is just not one of them.

Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson

So out of 110+ cat 3's, 70+ UCI elite men, 50+ UCI wmn, and hundreds of total entrants he was tested? Man, talk about luck of the draw!

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

Greg awesome that you're speaking up for a friend. He's always welcomed to chime in too. Jeff Sanford was asking a good question though - why admit to something before being tested? If he didn't know the rules wouldn't he think he was innocent and be surprised by a positive test?

Eric Nelson
Eric Nelson

glad the guy is caught/banned. Bad move for him to race but it's good to see peoples feet being held to the fire. This is what has to happen to clean things up

Jeff Sanford
Jeff Sanford

Greg Wright, if he was unaware of the rule why did he tell them he was takjng it right before he was tested.

Greg Wright
Greg Wright

No, the advantages aren't that big. There's the "BS".

Greg Wright
Greg Wright

He didn't win. It was a random test as far as I know.

Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson

Out of curiosity I checked his results which are minimal compared to the other guys that have been busted. Was this a totally random test, or did he happen to win that event & thus get tested? Just seems odd that a mid pack Cat 3 would get tested.

KingOfCrank
KingOfCrank

He should of not competed in racing, he made the choice and should pay the fine. I do know men where testosterone was low and they were depressed and/or lethagic. Its amazing how important the hormones balance is. Its a real medical condition that usually affect men much older than Mr Baker.

NathanKiger
NathanKiger

I love the syringe next to his category on Cross Results.

Greg Wright
Greg Wright

Dan Baker simply was unaware of the rules, end of story. No excuse, to be sure, but he was simply taking his doctor's advice. He is a great guy and as a Cat 3 really just races for fun. I don't think he's won much, if anything, and doesn't value winning over all else like some racers. This isn't a story about doping, it's a story of not knowing the rules.

lloydxmas94
lloydxmas94


This individual was made aware that he was in violation of policy on 9/29.  He proceeded to register for Providence Cross Festival on 9/30 and subsequently raced both days.  Certainly not someone who truly appreciated or respected the situation at hand.  Hard to know which.


It is clear from Facebook that at least some of this person's teammates were aware of a medical condition and knew the banned substance was being taken.  Trying to understand the breakdown there.

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

Thanks Velo Medic, we suppose none of us know what Baker suffered from, if anything, so it's all just theoretical right now... Maybe he'll write a book or go on Oprah and tell us.

Velo Medic
Velo Medic

I certainly can't speak for USADA and their party line is that they will look at every case individually but my understanding is that low testosterone all by itself is not reason for a TUE although it may be a perfectly legitimate reason for a doctor to start you on testosterone. The only time you could get a tuE for testosterone is if your body can no longer make it. Much like insulin, it's banned too unless you are a diabetic and your body no longer makes it. If your body doesn't make as much as you'd like, that's not reason for a TUE

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

David Hack, if there was no way to get one you'd think USADA should be clearer in their wording on the press release, to your point. VM was less black and white in his opinion, unless...almost... generally...

David Hack
David Hack

There was an article in velo news about testosterone and TUE. Velo Medic is right. It isn't allowed. Use the app if you have any questions

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

David Hack, "Baker was taking synthetic testosterone in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician and although he disclosed that information during the sample collection, he did not follow the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) requirements prior to competing." Believe it or not that all came straight from the USADA press release verbatim. Sure makes it sound like it's possible, even if rare. But we're not experts on USADA's approval policies.

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

Velo Medic interesting, what do you think the difference is between never and almost never is? Proof you are naturally super low without castration?

Jeff Sanford
Jeff Sanford

Bunch of bullshit. If he didn't know he needed a TUE why did he tell them he was taking it before he was tested. Like indicated below, if you need testosterone supplementation don't race. As you get older the advantages of taking testosterone during heavy training/racing are HUGE.

ppolack
ppolack

Just because you're taking testosterone "under care of a physician" it doesn't mean you're guaranteed to get a Therapeutic Use Exemption. You may be required to voluntarily recuse yourself from competition or face suspension.


Considering the widespread practice of testosterone replacement therapies for dubious reasons by doctors ( I know of 2 cyclists on supplemental testosterone because they can't face getting old), I'd sincerely question the necessity of a 37 year old requiring it. Studies show the "medical necessity" of TRT is required in only a very small percentage of cases.

David Hack
David Hack

Yep, no TUE for testosterone. Can't believe the person that wrote the article didn't know that much.

Velo Medic
Velo Medic

Unless castrated in a farming accident USADA will almost never do a tue for testosterone no matter what your doctor says. It's generally not a disease but a symptom- often of too much training for cyclists. I'm a MD and have had this discussion with USADA. If on T, don't compete.

ibrisbin
ibrisbin

@arcticlamb not to excuse it (would be pathetic if it's as it looks at first blush), but he had disclosed it taken as a therapeutic dose.

crewdoglm
crewdoglm

@ppolack I am honestly curious to know about the "widespread practice of testosterone replacement therapies for dubious reasons by doctors..." I guess I find "widespread" hard to believe. Admittedly, I don't have a doc who is likely to be bribed into bogus scrips (USAF flight surgeon). He told me that to justify testosterone therapy, you need to have WAY low numbers with serious tangible symptoms affecting your life. The real symptoms sound like they suck and it also sounded like saying "I can't face getting old" would get the response "tough shit" from a legit MD. (My T was higher than a normal 20 year old's and I'm 48 BTW.)

crewdoglm
crewdoglm

Question for the Dr: If this person had legitimately low T which was being treated with exogenous testosterone, wouldn't his T/E ratio indicate normal on urinalysis?  The article indicates that he was taking Testosterone AND that CIR testing was used. We know that an elevated T/E is the trigger for CIR testing i.e., they don't just draw everyone's blood looking for T. Sounds like he self-identified and walked into the hornet's nest. Sounds to me like someone with a legit condition could keep their mouth shut and be fine...Reaction? 

shawnjmarshall
shawnjmarshall

Certainly knowing the rules is key, (as far as any reading I've done), it would seem possible to apply for a TUE for Testosterone, it would also seem nearly impossible to be granted one.

IMHO, if a person medically needs Testosterone to function, said person should probably not be racing a bike...

arcticlamb
arcticlamb

@ibrisbin Yes, looked like a mistake, not malicious. But I wonder how many hockey, football players etc do that and never face sanction.

ppolack
ppolack

@crewdoglm @ppolack Fair question. "Anti-aging" clinics are popping up all over the place. The doc takes a blood sample, declares your numbers "low" not for your actual age but for what they'd be in your prime, he asks the leading questions i.e., are you placing lower in bike races ;-) to which of course you say "Yes" and the script is written. I personally know 2 people who went this route not because of medical necessity but because of their desire to improve performance.


Medical conditions necessitating testosterone supplementation are pretty severe and relatively rare. I wish I could direct you to the articles or books I read to back up my claims but I can't remember the specific name.


Regarding one of the two individuals mentioned above: Prior to his starting TRT he gave me a book with a particularly famous photo of some 60 year old with a body most 20 year old men would crave. The book read like an infomercial.


Also, read Andrew Tillan's book, The Doper Next Door , as has already been mentioned by others. It basically supports all my assertions above.

ibrisbin
ibrisbin

@arcticlamb agreed. Can you imagine anything more pathetic than a weekend warrior cheating and poisoning themselves for an age-group podium?

crewdoglm
crewdoglm

@ppolack @crewdoglm I honestly had no idea. Sounds like the Testosterone speak-easy is coming of age. The next Southpark parody?I think I saw the same photo you mention and I've always assumed the ad to be for legal Fenugreek seed.

ibrisbin
ibrisbin

@arcticlamb I suppose those types of leagues can't/don't test. But, given the spectrum of humanity, you have to *know* it happens.

arcticlamb
arcticlamb

@ibrisbin Indeed. And imagine the uproar if some 30-something hockey player got busted and couldn't be in a league for 2 years.

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