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  • Chris Lee

    Would love to see the traffic stats of people leaving this article to google TB500, Clenbuterol and CJC-1295.

    • Gee

      Tor keeps no stats…

  • James Dunn

    I’ve seen more than a couple of riders get better suddenly without any apparent change in the volume or type of training. It’s easy to say “doping, that’s the answer”, but this article would suggest that it’s actually a real possibility!?

    Have you encountered any semi-concrete evidence of other people doping, (Steroids in the Masters Racing?).

    • echidna_sg

      There are concrete cases in the US of men getting “male menopause” hormone replacement therapy… with Testosterone… and then even going so far as to claim a TUE off it.

      http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article10288739.html

    • JT

      I did have evidence of steroid use in Australia in more than a few masters athletes

    • Tim Rowe

      Yeah, but lets not jump to conclusions. I’ve had massive gains to performance (and rapid loss of weight) suddenly, with no change to riding volume or any training pattern by simply eliminating all sugar from my diet. Depression can also do the same thing, and any number of life factors can cause that to be suddenly eliminated which results in what’s practically a different person – yet with the same training patterns.

      I’d hate to think we’re just going to start assuming everyone’s on some form of banned substance every time we see a rider make sudden improvements.

      • SeanMcCuen

        yup, 500mg. of discipline everyday.

        • Dave

          That’s a new one, any chance of spelling it out for those of us who can’t keep up with this street name nonsense?

          • SeanMcCuen

            that’s the technical term.

      • GoatHerd

        Agreed. I’ve trained seriously all my life, at an amateur level, but had a bunch of little details I could improve on. With age, I decided to step it up to try & maintain a reasonable level of performance. I made fairly small changes in my diet, & started taking core exercise more seriously, and went from skinny to ultra-lean, at age 48. And turned the clock back by 10 years or more.

        I also maintain a 0 supplement policy. I don’t even take multivitamins. The only industrialized product I take are an electrolyte Gatorade type drink for long rides, and energy gels as a post-ride snack. That’s because I can’t cut through the BS surrounding all these get faster products, & also because I’m opposed to the mindset where you’re permanently hunting for some secret get-faster legal sauce. Also all this stuff is damned expensive.

      • JT

        Hi Tim I agree with you completely people should not jump to conclusion maybe we should have written that part a bit different or added that in

  • Jim

    This bloke sounds like he’s been hanging out at the Essendon footy club.

    As a side note – he doesn’t really talk about the down side / bad side effects – is there any or is the jury still out on health side effects ?
    ( well besides the it’s wrong / illegal / immoral etc … )

    • JT

      Hi Jim, funnily enough this was well before the Essendon ”scandal” the answer to your side-effect question I haven’t had any bad side-effects health nothing as of yet (has been a few years)

    • Mr Boffinhead

      I was thinking something similar re Essendon!! If anything this tale and that of Essendon tells us doping has gone well underground and has taken a marginal gains, experimental and at times a quasi-clinical trial approach. There are many reasons why individuals end up at this point (http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/cycling/32662773), I suppose the author is lucky it didn’t work, as the fall out has been relatively private, unlike the intense shaming unleashed on athletes who test positive later on.

      • Stompin

        Notice how all the other clubs kept very silent when the Essendon saga unfolded… funny that.

        • Dave

          They learned from all the technically clean cycling teams.

          Ever notice how teams like Orica or Sky never speak out whenever there’s a high-profile case, unless it’s to note that it happened AFTER the rider left their team?

          • JT

            Good point Dave

    • mt

      There are some pretty awful side effects from long term steroid use ( abuse) some reversible, some not. Good to see articles like this. Show some respect to yourself ( as in everybody), and your body.. don’t use drugs.. You’re worth more than that…. and so is the beauty of cycling.

    • Dave

      It actually sounds more like the ‘lone wolf’ dopers more recently caught at Freo and Collingwood than the institutional doping at Essendon.

      • Stompin

        It sounds like they need to test football clubs more often, like they do in cycling

  • Mark Blackwell

    Wow, now THIS is why I love CT so much. Thanks JT. I’m not sure that this will really work to “get it off your chest”, but I’m damn sure that it helps to put it out there and hopefully help others of a similar mind to ask the same question you did: why?

    Cycling is a sport that attracts obsessives… just look at the way it consumes people (me included). The absence of the money in the amateur ranks misses the point: it’s the obsessiveness that drives the behaviour, and with no testing in the local crit (or the local KOM) and ready availability of these drugs on the internet I’m not at all surprised. I just hope that me and many others don’t use this as an excuse to write off our club mates’ race efforts as drug-fuelled. Seriously.

    • JT

      Hi Mark, that was my main aim with this maybe there is an athlete reading this now who was about to take the step of using PEDs and realises it’s not worth it. The obsessive description you talk of is exactly right I was obsessed with trying to get back to a high level and was part of the problem

    • jules

      cycling is my release. it’s a pure endeavour, free of bullshit like office politics, deadlines, commitments. i couldn’t imagine ‘poisoning the well’ by doping. I can understand people trying to get to Europe doping (don’t agree, but understand), but to do it at amateur/club level. I’m sure it happens on occasion, but you’ve got to be a dickhead.

      • Ant

        Totally agree. But there are plenty of dickheads out there! (Our perhaps, more politely, over-competitive, short-sighted egoists.)

        • Mark Blackwell

          Yep… just take a look at what riders are willing to do to get a Strava KOM. Even leaving aside the famous examples of people dying trying to get downhill KOMs (http://www.outsideonline.com/1912501/how-strava-changing-way-we-ride), there are numerous examples of riders cruising back streets and sprinting up anonymous climbs in the suburbs (amusing pisstake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBvgPP7efzU).

          Would this kind of cyclist also be willing to dope? It’s a stretch I know, but I reckon there are some.

        • Dave

          And cycling seems to be a pursuit that attracts more than its fair share of wacky people.

  • jules

    this is society’s fault, in part. we love celebrating extreme success. if you look at the elite in almost any pursuit – sport, business, the arts – you will find, overwhelmingly, abnormal behaviour, personalities and ethics. why do people pursue these goals that so often are associated with negative qualities? because we have an unrealistic, romantic view of what major success means. it’s important to set your goals in life – what do you want to achieve? what is realistic? don’t just assume you need to reach for the sky. we’re taught that, and that aiming lower is for losers, but I disagree.

    • Steel

      Mate, I aimed to be cyclingtips best loved commenter, but realised that was totally unrealistic with you on here putting out gems like that one.

      Agree with what you say, wholeheartedly.

      • jules

        what a nice thing to say Steel! don’t worry I love you too

      • Gordon

        I’m with you Steel, bloody Jules. I even offered to throw a haymaker at him in the coffee shop the other day and he took it in his stride. Going back to old Get Smart episodes I think he needs to change his name to Simon the Likeable.
        As he stamps his feet and walks off.
        If it is any help I set my goals super low and in my eyess I win big time every day, just gotta convince my wife, family bosses etc that I am super and awesome (the word I hate).

    • Mark Blackwell

      Spot on. I have two young sons (5 & 7) and looking ahead a few years, as much as I’d love to encourage them to pursue their dreams, dream-believe-achieve, ra-ra-ra-ra… I think that instead I’ll be telling them that “success” is a tad more nuanced that coming in first.

  • Trevor Sivies

    Thanks to JT and CyclingTips for posting this article. A good informative read.

  • Mad Panda

    A great article JT! Thanks for sharing your experiences. It is clear that you glossed over the really meaty bits, but that is your prerogative, and entirely understandable. I’m a late blooming recreational rider and I get to witness regularly, the best of the next generation of cyclists. I can understand how people can come to believe that their situation is unique and that they are not a ‘real doper’. Cycling does not support its own. There is comparatively little camaraderie and group support as opposed to other sports. Cycling celebrates awesome results, never magnificent efforts. Cycling is so easy to get into, but very hard to master! So many folk do well initially. Well enough to encourage the thoughts of ‘going to the top’. It is addictive and fun. FUN!. How easy it is to lose sight of the original motivations. Cycling could do better to look after the next group of aspirational kids. Merely saying ‘doping is bad’ hardly cuts it and misses the mark with the deeper issues. Thanks again and enjoy your riding!

    • JT

      HI Mad Panda, thanks for the comment. Agreed cycling and I think most sports need to look at the deeper issues when it comes to kids/young teenagers trying to make it as a professional

  • Samwise

    I wouldn’t classify that as doping, cycling destroyed your body and you needed to get your health back.
    Your career was over as soon as you took the substance and you knew that. You can’t race on drugs, you will get caught.
    You can’t win once you take them, your mindset is broken, the self belief is gone, mental toughness is what makes a bike rider and it left when your body broke down.
    Not your fault.

    • JT

      Hi Samwise, thanks for the comment haven’t thought of it that way before

    • CC

      I disagree, JT’s put this story out which pivots about a choice.

      He went through an informed process, asking a Doctor, and chose to take the path of PEDs.
      It honestly sounds more of a story, that JT – needed better information at that time, to make a better choice.

      JT – what advice would you tell yourself, in retrospect?

      • JT

        Hi CC….I would tell myself to stop and just take a step back and remember that their is more to life than trying to become a professional athlete at the time I couldn’t see this.

        • CC

          JT – that’s a hard one to work through. Were there other people that you could have reached out to?

          • JT

            Possibly yes but I was too ashamed to admit I was taking drugs

    • Chris

      It is possible to have a long and successful career whilst doping. Some get caught, some don’t, and some fess
      up after retirement.

      • Mad Panda

        Uh, if you are doping, then it isn’t a successful career. Just a bunch of hollow results. Secret tip – success isn’t measured by results – ever. It just appears that way.

        • JT

          Agree with you but not everyone thinks that way

        • Chris

          I guess most professional cyclists measure success by a combination of glory and finances.

        • Samaway

          It may be “hollow” to those whom judge sport as a humanist endeavor. Given that many athletes continue to take PEDs, however, the prevailing understanding of “success” in sport seems more complex (i.e., not a reduction to humanism).

          • Mad Panda

            Yer bang on there Samaway. Today, supposedly responsible adults, well informed and well intentioned, go out of their way to remove the humanist elements of their childrens’ sport. There are development pathways, sporting institutes, regional academies, selection camps, training camps and military style SAS culling processes for the womens NRS.

            Is it no wonder the definition of “successful” is so warped.

            All this in the name of “personal development”, self confidence and achievement!?!

            I genuinely worry for the 17-23 year olds that show potential. They are being misguided. I’ll be the first to forgive them if they are caught cheating.

            Ultimately sport can only be a human endeavor. That is why it can be glorious! That is why we love it! And THAT is what JT has shared! Yay for JT!

    • Mad Panda

      Not his fault!?!?!?!? I think laying blame is a fruitless exercise generally, but given you’ve made the point, if JT isn’t wholly responsible for his situation, then who is ? You sound like a cyclist Samwise – one from yesterdays generation. Of course it was doping. If he raced, it would also have been cheating. OMG, I hope you aren’t guiding any juniors today. If you take perormance enhancing drugs….then you are doping….period. There is no grey.

      • samwise

        Insulin is a performance enhancing drug.
        Diabetics should all get life time bans…

        • Mad Panda

          Insulin is a life supporting drug. As are numerous steroid based asthma treatments etc etc. A predictable attempt to obfuscate. Why not mention coffee? Yesterdays news Sam. PED’s=Doping. Enjoy your avoidance strategies !
          :)

          • Samwise

            The Medications JT took were his life supporting drugs.
            Chronic Fatigue and the subsequent depression make life not worth living.
            i applaud JT for getting out there and looking after himself.
            The medications JT took were not performance enhancing as he mentioned, they permitted him to live.
            Life before bike riding. Get your priorities in order.

            • Mad Panda

              Oh boy…. JT has already told us why he took them, and what he hoped to achieve by taking them. He was planning for more than just staying alive. That isn’t up for discussion. JT has found other (better) ways to live. Without PED’s. That is his whole message! This is all a digression though. If as you say, it isn’t his fault, then who?

              • JT

                Yes that’s the message to all people who might be in the same position as I was

            • JT

              Hey Sam I think you’ve missed my point I took the drugs to improve my performance having the fatigue did was a contributing factor in that choice

          • JBS

            I think you missed the point there. Insulin is a performance enhancing drug. A diabetic’s performance would be screwed with out it. Take it to a further extreme, water is a performance enhancing drug. Don’t believe me, try doing a 6 hour ride without bidon. For the record, “drug” has no true meaning, its just slang.

            The point, as this article highlighted is that in between the extremes of water and EPO, there is a whole suite of borderline compounds that can be taken to improve you health (insulin, asthma medications). Remember improving your health equals performance enhancing. Once you get into that mindset its easy to go from taking vitamin supplements, to amino acids to peptides…and further. There is a huge grey area that makes it easy for people to get caught up in.

            Disclaimer: This is not endorsing doping, just highlighting how easy it is to get into the grey area you’ve dismissed.

            • Mad Panda

              G’day JBS, I agree with you insomuch as the vast majority see grey. Like to see grey. Probably want to see grey. I believe it is BS.

              I see your point about ‘where is the line ?’ I’m sure many have had the conversation, or raised the question. Hopefully it is raised often. It isn’t so grey actually.

              Nearly 400 people died from asthma in 2013. Some of them happy, active and healthy kids. Twenty years ago it was closer to 1000. To suggest asthmatics take medication to “enhance their performance” displays incredible insensitivity and ignorance. What about the much reduced life expectation of the T1 diabetic?. These folk do this, and lets be clear,… – so–they–do–NOT–die. To use the situation of a chronic sufferer in any way to support the actions of someone who merely wants to cheat (not suggesting that is you), I find utterly reprehensible. It is the reason that cycling,as a sport, sadly, has about as much credibility as boxing or chook fighting.

              It is easy to go from a vitamin pill to something else. Absolutely. We are human, we are easily corrupted and can justify anything. Non of that takes away from the black and white facts that. Taking a banned substance, in any form, inadvertently or otherwise, = doping.

              The Essendon fiasco is a case in point. The players were found not guilty by a panel formed of the governing body of their sport (ffs) . Those players willingly permitted the injections. No one tied them down – forced them. It was nothing other than an attempt to cheat. But then the lawyers get to speak and the truth disappears forever.

              • JBS

                Please don’t misrepresent I said, I deliberately mentioned diabetes and insulin medications to make my point. Of course I am not callus enough to suggest suffers take them to win bike races, they take them to live healthy lives. Suffers of blood disorders, include those resulting from Crohn’s disease, liver diseases, often take EPO to live healthy lives! In professional sports insulin is allowed, EPO isn’t; those drugs are extremes on the scale with a hell of a lot of grey in the middle. Its a very small mindset change to go from “I need this to be healthy” to “I need this to be healthy so I can race”, especially if you were a racer before you got sick. Its in the grey area between insulin and EPO are a whole suite of chemicals that a black and white, “hang all dopers” mentality won’t fix this issue. Never has, never will.

                Type 1 diabetics do race professionally (see Team Type I from a few years back) and taking insulin is very much performance enhancing for those riders, in the sense that they need to stay healthy so they can complete (and rightly so). But what about a racer who has an abnormally low testosterone level? That’s a physical abnormality, just like diabetes. A doctor could proscribe testosterone treatments, but not for a racer, that’s banned. So in one case a racer can take a medical treatment for their health (and thus aid their performance), while the other can’t. Low testosterone in not as life threatening as diabetes, and I am not suggesting that at all. What I am asking is where is the line that you want to draw?

                I’ve seen knee jerk arguments for banning all injections from bike racing, no ifs, no buts. Again that’s an extreme, but if that became the prevailing mindset of doping bodies, then under a black or white system, all racing insulin users are drug cheats. Doesn’t exactly sound fair to me.

                Asthma is an even greyer area. There’s well recorded instances of exercise induced asthma, and I’ve seen reports were asthma incidence amongst endurance athletes is higher than the “normal” population (likely due to increase exposure to atmospheric pollutants). Riders can take asthma medications and ride, but not too much, then you’re a drug cheat!

                I come back to my key point. I do not condone taking banned substances! Rightly or wrongly those are the rules of the game and not playing by them is cheating. But I disagree that rider taking 1 too many puffs of ventolin should be treated identically to a decade long abuser of EPO…that’s where the grey is and that’s why a black and white mentality does not work.

                • Mad Panda

                  Sorry if I misrepresented you there. I suspect we are similarly aligned with this issue, but I feel you are introducing the ‘rule book’, which definitely confuses the issue. I have direct experience with asthma and I am far from the “hang ’em from the nearest tree” mentality. I do understand that there is a slippery slope that some athletes simply inch their way along – see Tyler Hamiltons’ TED talk. However………

                  Lets call a spade a spade. Team Type 1 riders DID NOT take insulin to enhance performance. They take it to live. Their body does not produce it. Thankfully, because they take it, and because asthmatics take their steroid based meds, they are ABLE to compete. They have no competitive advantage.

                  The grey bit, FWIW is in the diagnosis. E.g. athletes with spurious diagnoses.

                  I love your bit about asthmatics being able to take meds but “not too much”…. Exactly the situation, and that is exactly my world, (which I guess is why I’m so strongly opinionated on this subject). However the quantity of reliever med is VERY high. If anybody is taking that much, I’d be very concerned for their well being. Id also suspect that they were doing it for reasons other than asthma. But here, we are discussing the rules, not doping athletes.

                  Interesting that the Sky riders seem to be having so much trouble with exercise induced asthma!…. It is a real thing. Spend some time with a child on the side of a soccer pitch, who badly wants to run on, but simply can’t – its heart breaking.

                  Your final paragraph is again, for mine, bang on the money, and with that scenario, I can concede there is some grey. The decade long EPO abuser is clearly a cheat. The asthmatic, is either very poorly managed wrt asthma, or is trying to cheat. With high performance sports, asthma sufferers manage it very well, so it’s more likely the latter. As to whether the rules treat them the same or different, a whole new discussion! Cheers JBS, thanks for the talk. Enjoy your riding and if you ever see an adult running up to a kid, and shoving a spacer onto their face. It just might be me. Most unlikely to be my kid though! :)

                  • Mad Panda

                    I just wrote a whole essay and didn’t answer your question! consider this part 2:

                    The line that I would draw:

                    There’d be a few. Lets start with juniors – say Under 19’s. My line would be with gels. i.e. No gels (or equivalents) permitted. Have as many bananas, jelly snakes or muesli bars as you please, but no gels.

                    I’ve witnessed 16 year olds – pre race, slamming an espresso, sucking on a gel etc Whilst this is tolerated, it is sending the message to the next generation that supplements are OK. Once on that slippery slope, then where do you stop? I’ve seen loving mothers, dotingly passing over the can of energy drink after the game…good grief!

                    Having successfully taught that energy gels are not OK and have in fact been proven to not work, I think the next line would be easier to define.

                    First and foremost though is identifying our “supplement culture” and calling it out for the BS that it is. It is an endemic problem in our modern world.

                    • JBS

                      That’s a fair line and I can sympathise with the sentiment a lot. But let me play devil’s advocate (and I don’t expect you to answer, just throwing it out there):

                      what’s the difference between a jelly snake and a powerbar gel blast (the chewy gels)?

                    • Mad Panda

                      One is pure fructose and the other is unkown…

                  • JBS

                    Yeah, good chat and if ever stops raining here I will get back on my bike as you suggest.

                    In some regards my comments were sparked by the very black and white response to PED usage you see, even in the comments on this story. Sure cheating is wrong, but there are levels and I have much more sympathy for an 18 year old footballer who took an injection because of peer pressure and bad advice from those in positions of power, than I do for, say Lance Armstrong.

            • jules

              criteria for prohibiting a performance-enhancing drug, 2 of 3 of:
              1. performance enhancing
              2. harmful to health
              3. against spirit of sport

              just being #1 doesn’t make it prohibited

              • JBS

                #1 is a useless parameter. The whole point of sporting endeavor is to enhance performance. The whole concept of training, eating food, drinking water is designed to be performance enhancing. If a compound/activity/process wasn’t (at least perceived to be) performance enhancing an ultra-competitive athlete wouldn’t do it.

                Now define “harmful to health”. Endurance sports themselves can be harmful to health, you could argue that some banned drugs are taken simply to keep physiological parameters within healthy ranges…microdosing EPO during a stage race to keep you red blood cell count up in the normal range is a good example, the benefit is the user stays healthy while their opponents become weaker and sicker. Chemical compounds aren’t inherently harmful to health, dosage defines toxicity. Too much water is just as toxic as too much EPO, they just require different scales. You also need to consider just what is “healthy”.

                Now define “against the spirit of sport”. The only definition that you’ll get near universal approval of is “to win”.

                Better yet, don’t define the last two, we’ll be here forever.

                • jules

                  you’re trying to assess each criteria on their own. it works when you take them in combination. even if EPO wasn’t harmful to health, it’s definitely performance enhancing and against the spirit of the sport (unless you think going to the chemist and making stuff up about kidney failure to get the tablets is within the spirit). 2 out of 3 -> banned.

                  whereas water is performance enhancing, but not inherently harmful to health or against the spirit -> OK.

                  • JBS

                    But that’s the problem with your criteria. 1 is useless, plain and simple, and 3 is more about ideals and aspiration; elusive and hard to get a true consensus for. Fine in theory, but you will never get full agreement.

                    So that only really leaves 2. For 2, there is no such thing as a drug/chemical/whatever that is inherently harmful. For every compound known to man, its the exposure dose that defines whether or not something is toxic. You can argue that thresholds can be set to prevent harmful effects; that’s a very valid argument. But it also leads to the very slippery slope of microdosing to stay just under the threshold.

                    I personally fully agree with you principals behind your criteria. But I can also see the complexity of the issue that abounds from the complexity of both human biology and human psychology.

  • JP

    How does the wisdom from this experience permeate throughout the rest of your non-cycling life?

    • JT

      HI JP,
      I tend to take trivial things a lot less seriously now when in the past I would always freak and stress out example I might miss a day of training because of something out of my control but I would still stress all day about it..hope that makes sense?

      • JP

        Hi JT,
        Yes that makes plenty of sense!
        Thanks

  • Flash

    Great Article.
    I always remember a great saying “If you are nothing without it, you will never be anything with it”.
    JT, just imagine if you had made it, a career built on lies and drugs – seriously not worth it.

    • JT

      That is a great saying will remember it myself.
      Agreed I did realise this just took me a long time to get there

  • NY’er

    Hi JT, thanks for the article. Very interesting insights to your thoughts and approach. Several questions:
    – did you experience any side effects from the drug use at the time?
    – what did your doctor prescribe for the chronic fatigue?
    – do you still suffer from chronic fatigue?

    • JT

      Hi NY’er…I had no side-effects. More rest, less work hours for a number of weeks, changed my diet and that was it no medications. Thankfully I don’t have anymore problems

  • Durianrider

    Would be cool if you were more objective. Put up some power files from Strava etc. Fuck the haters. Transparency on this subjects is king. Ive used gear before as well but never having a UCI license at the same time. I havent had a cup of coffee since 99 though and have won 24hr solo XC races with absolutely no stims or anything. 100% fruit and water.

    Going to the other extreme and using drugs though, its incredible the work load one can endure with drugs. We live in a drug society where my 90 year old gran drinks about 300mg of caffeine a day just to stay awake watching midday TV. People guzzle caffeine and then critique cyclists for ‘doping’ but those same critics also dope to get their job done each day.

    Im not for doping but did it on my youtube channel to show how effective it is and how easy drugs are to get from any doctor in Australia if you know what you want and know what to say. Hey, doctors job is to give out drugs so people can ‘stay healthy’ haha.

    Good work JT. Be more transparent. You shouldnt have to feel guilty for telling the truth about your personal experience using products that fuels the pro sports at the top.

    Drugs that are totally legal and easy to get a TUE for in Australia.
    Testosterone patches, gels and injections. Oral gel caps aswell.
    Cortisone
    Pain killers like ibuprofen
    Ventolin
    Dexxies

    The ‘war on drugs’ is a joke and its more like ‘the business of drugs’.

    Im here in Thailand and the 3rd richest family in Thailand is worth like 8 billion $ and its because they are the co-founders of Red Bull – another drug cartel in my eyes but so widely used and accepted its overlooked. Their grandson even killed a cop in his new Ferrari and got away with it despite dragging him a few hundred meters, being drunk and speeding away.

    Unfortunately drugs and money rule the world. Always have, always will.

    • Andy B

      What would you do if they banned eating bananas?

      • Duff Man

        Similarly to the ‘I took drugs to show how effective they can be’ action, I once drank 10 beers in one sitting just to show how drunk that much beer would make you.

    • jules

      did you ever settle that thing with the bikini body girl?

      • Brian

        They accepted a mediated settlement where it would all go away without any damages being awarded if they grovelled at her feet and stopped telling lies on the internet.

    • JT

      Hi Durainrider. thanks for the comment an interesting one to say the least I wasn’t on strava at the time so won’t be able to show any files sorry thanks for the support though

      • Sean

        if its not on strava, it didn’t happen.

        • J.Hockey

          If you didn’t finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd, any other number doesn’t matter.

  • disqus_6PES2CnwIh

    of course at vet level, so many riders are on doctor’s medications to keep ’em going in life, testing and the paperwork would be a logistical nightmare… but some vets know how to suffer from some advantageous ailments quite well wins are explained by the cake/beer munching/swilling training hols in Mallorca of course ;-)

  • elbruka

    Hey JT, what dosages/amounts of clenbuterol were you taking? I’ve heard it can be quite low?

    • jules

      don’t answer that :)

    • JT

      Hi Elbruka I won’t be giving you any information on that and I recommend you to not use it at all

      • elbruka

        No worries, JT, was for interests sake only.
        Rest assured I won’t be taking clenbuterol anytime soon. :D

    • RayG

      A dosage of one Spanish steak is too high and will get you busted.

    • Gee

      Asking for a mate.

  • Jay F.

    JT did these drugs actually help you with your CFS? I have CFS and simply cant cope with ongoing training of more than 7 hours per week. If anything I struggle to even do 7 hours. I’d actually consider doping if it helped with my day to day energy levels, allowed me to ride more and didnt harm my health.

    I dont care about winning races, I just love being on my bike and I am saddened by my ongoing inability to ride properly. I know this totally flies in the face of your message, and its perhaps very naive to consider doping, but if it has no adverse health risks and increases my pleasure in life, then why not?

    • JT

      Hi Jay. I would not use any of these or any PED to treat your health problem just because I had no side effects doesn’t mean your body will it could be very dangerous. I recommend getting opinions of more than one doctor I’m sure they can help your CFS more

      • Jay F.

        Thanks for your reply JT. I’ve been to several doctors (particularly in the diagnosis phase) and unfortunately they’ve all just shrugged their shoulders. The only thing that they did suggest was graded exercise therapy. My CFS isnt that bad these days (after 6 years), I have my moments, but I still cant get past this road block in my riding. Its a massive pain in the ass.

        N.B.I wouldnt just take the stuff without any research, and I would consult with a doctor ;)

        • Voldermort

          Cycling induced CFS is an AMPK over-activation issue.
          It senses starvation and shuts down everything causing a whole range of problems.
          Anabolics will work best, same solutions is given to Anorexics.
          Try hi carb vegan by Durian Rider before you get on the hard stuff.

          • Jay F.

            Where did you get this information about AMPK over-activation Voldemort? My CFS was cycling induced :P I kept overtraining as a teenager (should have read some friggen training books) and then eventually I just popped and couldnt get back up.

            • Jimmy

              I’ve had similar issues on and off for the last 4 years and non stop for the last year. Been to multiple Dr’s including naturopath and tried various alternative routes but at this stage none of them has been able to sort it out. Research is indicating graded excercise and slowly picking up quantity then quality. Anything you tried that that really made a diffeence?

              • Jay F.

                Honestly, the only thing I’ve tried in earnest was graded exercise therapy. For me it has worked extremely well. I can lead a normal life and do what I want to do. I do not, however, feel like I did prior to coming down with CFS. I still feel inhibited to some degree and experience fluctuating levels of fatigue contingent upon sleep, stress and stuff I cant pin down. I havent tried alternative therapies simply because I’m skeptical about it.
                There was a recent talk on CFS in the JCSMR school seminar series and the guy hinted that beta-blockers may assist fatigue perception. Aside from one or two scant papers I havent been able to find any more info about it. It may be worth trying out the doctors again… but part of me feels like I’ve recovered too much to warrant a lengthy search for the right one.

                • Jimmy

                  Mate, I hear you. Its been a lengthy and frustrating process, my faith in Drs has declined hence the push to alternatives, the one thing that did work to a degree and especially for stress was hypnotism, Im a big sceptic in that kind of stuff byt it actually helped the stress levels. Ive been doing LI stuff but probablly need to execute this on the trainer for a few months, outside has too many tempting things to do like chasing bunches and KOMS and all that stuff that just picks the HR up too much even for very short periods.

                  • Jay F.

                    But yeah here’s how I would rationalise doping:
                    P1. Physical fitness is correlated to the ongoing experience of fatigue –> the fitter you are the less fatigue you experience
                    P2. CFS places a low ceiling on how fit you can become
                    P3. Certain PED’s may facilitate muscular recovery from exercise
                    P4. Taking PEDs in conjunction with training (for a short time) would facilitate an unnatural increase in fitness in spite of CFS
                    C. PEDs + exercise will reduce CFS symptomatology.

                    I dont know if this argument is all that sound… but it might be worth a try (particular PEDs that facilitate muscular recovery from exercise).

        • JT

          I went to a few doctors before I got one that actually helped and could see that I was in bad shape mentally too. Maybe change your bike position as well so it’s in a more relaxed position I found that helped me aswell

          • Jay F.

            Stuck with 9cm of drop JT, the steerer tube has been cut. But I wonder why a more relaxed position would help….

            • JT

              Ah that sucks but there are ways around it and if you really want to keep riding I think you can find A way.
              Taking pressure off your body in the back and neck can make a huge difference talk to a physio about that

  • Arfy

    What an interesting read, and nice to hear JT put it all out there. I got the impression that the real issue here is not the drug-taking, but the mental state JT was in and how he was trying to find his path in life, which at that stage was simply professional cycling.
    Many years ago as a 16-year-old I went through a similar devastating period where I was just starting on a path in my favourite sport, footy (AFL). I had an incident where I was injured to the point that I could no longer play, and I went through a period of real heart-break, it was truly the worst I’ve ever experienced. Because of this I can relate to JT’s feelings of not just wanting, but needing to find a way to make his dreams become reality. However I can thank my family that not only did they rally around me, but they helped me set other life goals. It didn’t take away the pain, but it did help give me another focus.
    If you know someone who’s had their dreams shattered through whatever means, the most important thing you can do for them is to help them realign their life goals and give them something new to aim for.

    • JT

      Hi Arfy They are both issues but the bad mental state is what lead to the drug taking issue so you are right and your last paragraph sunset up what I want people to do be a bit more aware and then help

  • Holby City

    If you aren’t racing is there really a problem using peptides and a bit of clen? Isn’t the old expression, “eat clen and tren hard”???

    • JT

      I didn’t think so but eventually my opinion changed over time but maybe that’s because I wanted to work my way back up to racing a high level.
      yes hear that in the gym all the time actually

  • MattF

    Congratulations to JT and Cyclingtips for tackling this topic. As far as I am concerned the omertà is alive and well in pro cycling and, quite obviously, lower levels of the sport too. Speaking out and telling the truth is a great step in rooting out this cancer. I believe many former pros (Australian and other) could assist the sport enormously by doing likewise. What do you think JT?

    • JT

      Hey Matt. Yes that is what I want to see Happen. What annoys me is this mentality in Aus that our sport professionals don’t take drugs and esspecially the rugby league afl types

      • Holby City

        Couldn’t agree more.

  • Craig

    Well done JT for speaking out about your story.
    But PEDS in local cycling is nothing new to me and your story doesn’t come as any great surprise.
    I really don’t know how prevalent it is right now but given there was a shop selling all manner of peptides just around the corner from my house for the last few years up until just recently before it moved, I am guessing business is OK.
    I have had C grade racers admit to me taking steroids.
    Witnessed A graders injecting testosterone into each other(that was bizaar).
    Know of Masters/Vet riders popping Sudafeds and No Doze before races.
    And then there are the stories and rumours!
    My personal opinion is that there are probably countless people taking Peds lining up to race locally every weekend around the country.

    • JT

      Hi Craig that’s not good to hear that you’ve seen so much which makes me worry about what the younger riders could see and be influenced by

    • Mad Panda

      Wow! enlightening. Sobering. ….. Very fkn disappointing….*sigh*

  • Ritch

    It’s rather depressing reading really. I’m rubbish enough to be beaten by people that are more talented and put in more hours than me. I don’t need any of them taking drugs as well. As for JT, it takes some courage to admit to past wrongs and these sorts of articles are part of the reason for following CT, but remember that there are industries where cutting corners and being dishonest will land you in jail. Can you be trusted in other aspects of your life?

    • JT

      Hi Ritch that’s a really good point and I have never thought of that before. I am a very honest person generally which I’d why I struggled and felt guilty about taking the drugs.

  • Jimmy

    Hi JT. As someone who has suffered from Chronic Fatigue for the last year, what would your recommendations be in order to get over something like this?

    • JT

      Hi Jimmy it really depends what level of fatigue you have go and get more than one doctors opinion but I would say more rest at night and a small changes in diet can make a good difference

      • Jimmy

        I’ve visited a few GPs so far, and none has been able to provide any decent advice or solutions. From what I’ve searched so far it’s a time, diet ( no caffeine, sugar etc) and managing stress that seems to do the trick. The dark alternative just isn’t worth it but very tempting!

        • JT

          It really is a time thing some get over it really quickly I was lucky more sleep at night diet change like you said cut caffeine and sugar down if you consume alot do something new in your life that you haven’t I do yoga and Pilates twice each a week something I never did before but makes my body feel great. The dark way is always tempting but never worth it

          • Jimmy

            Agree on the diet stuff, have tried yoga and done a bit but havent done any of it for a while, will be adding some to the program from now on.

            • JT

              Hi Jimmy. Yes add in yoga and I would try pilates it can make some big differences to your bosy when all your muscles are working properly

  • XoseM

    thank you JT

    • JT

      thanks for reading

  • Coach Rob Manning DC

    This just goes to highlight the need for testing in amateur sports.

    Where the funding comes from though, I’m not sure.

    • Smithy

      Thanks for sharingJT. As for any testing in amateur sport, I say NO. JT has the right idea. In the way of the older guys and girls tell their story. Educate the people not fine them or ban them.

      • JT

        Hey guys. Yes I think testing is going to be a massive expense and something the national federation won’t do. That money should be used for junior programs and also education like Smithy said it’s a big point and can make a huge difference we are all taught cheating is bad sometimes it needs to come from someone who has actually done it.

  • Derek Maher

    Thanks for shareing your experiences with trying out some of the boosters on the market.
    I think a lot of young riders unless they have a medical condition which is holding them back are tempted to try some drugs.
    While I think there maybe a need for male riders over 30 to get a prescription Testosterone supplement to counter the natural drop we males suffer with age and its side effects,Be warned always keep a check on your prostate with a medical doctor.Young riders or males do not need this hormone boost.Just put in the miles and watch your diet.

  • Kim

    Lets just hope and pray you don’t get involved in the sport at the professional level JT…you don’t deserve to

    • Whippet

      Without the gear, there is no chance he’ll be involved at the professional level.

      • JT

        Hi Whippet I don’t aim to be a pro cyclist anymore anyway

        • scottmanning

          JT, don’t waste your time even acknowledging statements such as these.

    • Kevin

      Why shouldn’t he? – he went through a set of experiences fairly typical for young athletes that is more often than not ignored. With his experience he could contribute to athlete development and help guide them to a better path.

    • JT

      Hi Kim. That is your opinion and that is fine I just hope you feel the same way towards people like Matt White, Stuart O’Grady, Rolf Aldag, Erik Zabel, Tom Danielson, Bobby Julich, Hincapei, Valverde. Won’t continue or I will be here all day but all these people are involved in the sport and only admitted when it was convenient for them

      • jules

        it’s just doping. you didn’t murder anyone. people need to get over themselves. I’ve made bigger mistakes in life, I’ll bet most people have. this is just sport.

      • A

        JT you have not admitted it yet.

        • JT

          Hi A I think I did in the above article or did you not read it?

          • A

            Don’t be sarcastic.

            You did not put your name to the story. If you feel guilt then come clean and admit who you are and what you did.

            • JT

              I wasn’t I generally just thought you didn’t read the story.
              I don’t need to put my name to the story and I have told you what I did. The people that need to know my name are fully aware that includes CA, ASADA my former coach, my family and friends.
              I have done more than enough this story is not meant to be about me it’s about people inculding yourself being more aware of the mindset some athletes may have and the decisions they may make

              • A

                Strange thing to say considering you wrote:
                ‘So why am I telling my story? Part of it is a desire to get this off my chest — until now I’ve only ever spoken to my doctor and a therapist about my use of PEDs.’

                • JT

                  Had this article written well before it was published online I still don’t see where you want to go with these comments do you understand the point of awareness or you just don’t care?

                  • A

                    My point would be that you appear to be trying to take the good without the bad, the cathartic release from the public admission but not the consequences of public identification.

                    And awareness? It is obvious that drug abuse is still going on to some level – it always will. But you don’t necessarily have to personally have experienced something to understand it. There is nothing ground-breaking in your account for me at least.

                    And to the notion that talking about your experiences will dissuade others. Well the idea of reformed people educating others has been used in other areas of society and is subject to debate – personally I think it is misguided. How do you know your account won’t help normalise drug taking?

                    So that’s why the story irritated me. I bare you no grudge, you (and others) had a discrete moral lapse and took PEDs. Perhaps better to move on then dwell on the past.

                    • JT

                      Hi A, that is your opinion and that’s ok I don’t expect everyone to agree or like the article but most people have seen the good this could do.
                      Thanks for your comments
                      JT

    • scottmanning

      OMG what is wrong with you people! I suppose you have never made a poor choice in your life? JT should be applauded, and supported for realising what he was doing was wrong and making the decision to stop, not being abused for making the decision in the first place.

      • JT

        Hi Scott thanks for the support, I just want to be able to help future athletes who might have similar issues

      • Mad Panda

        Agree with you generally there Scott, but who is the “you people” ? But for one undeserving individual called Kim, everyone is by and large very supportive of JT.

        • JT

          thanks for the support I just hope the message is getting into peoples heads that’s my main goal here

  • Callum

    Hi JT,

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    How do you feel you have coped with the transition from pursuing that career as a cyclist and then all of sudden stopping? I guess you put everything into going after that dream of being a pro, so how do you go about trying to replace that driven mindset?

    • JT

      HI Callum, Thanks for reading. It took me a while to get over it but sorted it out eventually.
      I put all my energy and focus into my day job and doing the best I can with that while also working on my other dreams I have. Everyone has more than one sometimes it just takes a while to unlock them in your head

  • Paul E.

    Thank you for sharing your story JT! I think it is important to highlight the circumstances under which riders decide to (ab)use pharmaceuticals so we become more aware of the underlying reasons. I had to temporarily let go of cycling a few times over the years and can attest how emotionally draining it can be to always build up anew, even though I just race for my own pleasure. I can comprehend that an aspiring pro-cyclist, climbing the ranks, has a very tough decision to make if given the choice to continue chasing his/her dream with some pharmaceutical assistance or facing the scary reality that it is all over. Almost nobody hesitates popping some cold medication before going to the office to do a desk job. I do not approve of athletes that use drugs, but I live in a country where dopers are branded as failed people for the rest of their lives and I don’t think that is completely fair.

    • Whippet

      Well stated Paul. So many people are quick to castigate cyclists who ingest a few substances, yet refuse to admit that they partake in “better living through chemistry”.

    • JT

      Thanks for the comment Paul. Yes in my case circumstances were a big factor and I can’t be the only one who has faced this decision. Sometimes I think it is unfair but at the end of the day I made a bad choice.

  • Frank

    Great piece and thanks for sharing JT. This is as much an article about depression in sport as it is about PEDs. Maybe the two are often related … but let’s not jump to any conclusions.

    • JT

      Thanks for the comment Frank. Yes there is sometimes a link and it can be the thing that leads athletes to taking PEDs

  • Paolo

    And there i was thinking PED’s are the last thing you take to be able to win big, not to get “fit”for local NRS races.If you need that you’re really not that talented, sorry.

    • JT

      Hi Paolo considering I didn’t give any information on results or too much info on my past that’s an interesting comment

  • Gordon

    Again thanks CT and especially JT, a very interesting read.
    What I have found intriguing in the comments is the comparison to coffee/cold meds with the office worker and Peds and cyclists. Like all laws and rules there has to be lines and some argue the line is in the wrong spot.
    I find it especially interesting as I am pretty reliant on drugs for an auto-immune arthritic condition. I always wondered why when I was, years ago, at my lightest and fittest i could barely ride more than about 80 or so km’s, now I know. Without them later on I often got carted away in an ambulance unable to move without screaming (and I have had two lots of lung surgery that I previously thought was trying).

    I previously did tri’s one or two mountain bike races and a season with the vets. Only ever won with the vets and while I wasn’t on the gear at the time I was probably popping panadol at some time.
    I hate taking all the meds but know that without them I am useless so I and am inadvertently pushing some people’s boundaries when I go to work. Interesting and while I know I need to do this it is good to see many have a moral compass which some would argue is out of kilter, others not.
    Keep well JT.

    • JT

      Hey Gordon thanks for reading and also for sharing your story.

      • Gordon

        It is your story, I’m just waffling. I have never been an elite athlete and when I won a few races I had just qualified as a vet (I’m still under 50) but I had never thought of myself as pushing the boundries when I beat blokes 20 or more years older than me. Back then I may have been eligible for a TUE (I was sporadically on anti-inflam) but not sure. I try and live my life in a damn honest way and yet here i was inadvertantly not doing what I believe.
        Lets hope a lot of people gain from your shared experience. You wont change the world but you have certainly made a lot of people here at CT central think judging by the level of comments

        • JT

          That was my goal just want people to be aware and ask questions

  • JT

    Just to add if anyone is reading this and wants to ask something in private don’t hesitate to ask me for my e-mail address

  • Willbert

    I think the hardest thing to realize, especially in a young athlete, is that “they just wont be good enough.” I remember when I started training with my collegiate cross country running team, I refused to believe that some of those guys would be better than me no matter how hard I trained. It was a bitter pill to swallow when I finally realized the truth. I could do everything right, they could do everything wrong, and still out run me. It could be this refusal to accept reality that leads to doping. I just decided to quit.

    • JT

      Hi Willbert. Thanks for the comment I think that’s what some people were faced with in cycling in the 80s, 90s and 2000 era getting beat by guys they knew weren’t better than them and making the decision to join the “club” too.

  • André Costa Silva

    The same thing that happened to you while pursuing that dream would have/actually happened to anyone else who tried the same but perhaps 0.001% of them – probably less. How can anyone think you achieve the ability to ride three weeks at that level of volume and intensity while natural?
    Sure, there are genetic freaks, but the term says it – they’re freaks. They’re not the norm, they’re not around every corner. Yet, for some gullible naive people, it’s totally normal that there seem to be thousands of those genetic freaks riding their bikes. It’s not even enough that there are so many, they all also happened to find out that their specific talents applied to their love of cycling. Talk about some fortunate odds.

    Don’t kid yourself, let alone blame yourself. Those guys achieving the dream are doping to their ears. And it’s not just designer PEDs. They’re getting away with EPO variants, suspension testosterone and the like. It’s only a level playing field if you count drugs in. They’re all still great and gifted athletes – or else everyone doping would challenge Contador – but they’re not playing by the rules.

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