USADA continues to test and suspend cyclists for performance enhancing drugs, including most recently Robert (Bobby) Lea, a road, track and cyclocross athlete.
Lea has competed at the UCI Track World Championships and at two Olympics, won 23 National Championships and most recently won four gold medals at this year’s Track National Championships where he was tested, including the Individual Pursuit, International Omnium and Points Race.
The medals only seemed to come in one color this week. Thank you to everyone who lent a hand this week and to all who did so much to make this possible. @customvelo @cervelocycles @envecomposites @rotorbike @fizikofficial @oakley_bike @cuoreofswiss @osmohydration @untappedmaple #D2Shoe. And of course thank you to my team behind the scenes that keeps me for and on the road, #WaltonEndurance & #WellSpringPerformanceTherapy A photo posted by Bobby Lea (@blea505) on
Lea has a long history in the sport. He won a pile of medals at the 2005 Collegiate Track Nationals racing for Penn State, and even has his own profile page on USACycling.org. Lea has competed in cyclocross events since 2004, including racing the 2005 Collegiate Cyclocross National Championships in Providence, finishing tenth, and more recently, the MABRA championships in 2013, where he finished third.
Lea, a two-time Olympian, would sometimes train with local juniors on the track, saying, “They don’t know it but they are in for a rough one.”
Updated: Bobby Lea just published a blog post addressing this subject, but it is dated for tomorrow, December 18, 2015. He explains he forgot to check the prescribed medication against the WADA list right before taking it between days of races:
On the night of August 7th, in a state of post-race exhaustion and having run out of my normal sleep aid, I made the poor choice to take my prescription Percocet hoping it would help me rest. This medication had been prescribed by a doctor to help me manage pain and sleep while traveling for competition, especially in the event of a crash. Because it was late at night, and I was trying to sleep, I failed to check my prescribed medication against the prohibited list, an action I have correctly executed hundreds of times over the years. Had I done that I would have seen that Percocet is not banned when used out of competition, but is banned in-competition. Had I done that simple check, the same simple check I’ve done in pharmacies all over the world, I would have reached for another beer or two and I would not find myself here today.
The sanction and battle isn’t over however, despite accepting the provisional sanction starting in September:
However, because I want to end my career on the track and not in a lawyer’s conference room, I will appeal this sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Full USADA press release below.
AAA Panel Imposes 16-Month Sanction on U.S. Cycling Athlete, Lea, For Doping Violation
Colorado Springs, Colo. (December 17, 2015) – USADA announced today that a three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA), rendered its decision in the case of cyclist Robert Lea, finding that Lea committed an anti-doping rule violation, and will serve a 16-month suspension.
Lea, 32, of Topton, Penn., provided a urine sample on August 8, 2015, at the Elite & Junior Track National Championships competition held August 3-8, 2015, in Carson, Calif. His sample resulted in an Adverse Analytical Finding for noroxycodone, which is a metabolite of oxycodone. Oxycodone is listed as a specified prohibited substance in the class of narcotics on the World Anti‐Doping Agency (“WADA”) Prohibited List, which has been adopted by the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the rules of the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Lea’s 16-month period of ineligibility began on September 10, 2015, the date on which he accepted his provisional sanction. As a result of the doping violation, Lea has also been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on August 8, 2015 at the Elite & Junior Track National Championships and on and subsequent to the date in which the provisional sanction was accepted, 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 psychoactive 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.