It isn’t everyday that the United States Anti-Doping Administration shows up to a mountain bike race in Florida. It also isn’t everyday that the police are called after some major confusion on how to proceed with the situation. However, it happened this past weekend in Tallahassee.
The race was the first event of the 2012-13 Florida State Championship Series. Many Florida CXers were in Tally taking part in the festivities. During the end of the first race a little disturbance occurred when the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) was called to the scene due to a disagreement between the promoter/official and representatives of USADA.
The promoter of the event, Dave Berger, is very well respected in the South East region and has been in the business for years. His company is responsible for over 30 weekends of racing all across the area. He is responsible for putting on many series, including, the South East Regional Championship Series (SERC) which has the USA Cycling designation as USA Cup East Series.
What follows is the police report filed by the Tallahassee Police Department after their call to the event. We have removed the contact information of those involved, but kept their names as they appear in the police report.
As a participant at this event myself, I’m of two minds. While I fully and completely support USADA’s stated mission of Anti-Doping, I found this particular control to be extremely haphazard and unprofessional. We have checked with others who were directly familiar with the incident and all share a similar story; the representatives from USADA were not willing to identify themselves in a clear manner to the promoter/official and to race participants.
I am of the opinion that if USADA wants to be taken seriously they must behave professionally, and follow a standard for in-competition controls. I am not talking about the standards of “chain of command,” but event standards with the promoter, officials and riders. Do it right, or don’t do it at all. Doing it this way just makes Lance Armstrong’s nonsense arguments against USADA look like they might have merit, and why on earth would someone want to do that?
In conclusion, it was a game of telephone that got wildly out of control with confusion all around and resulted in perhaps the strangest police report we have ever come across.
Update 9/12/12 @ 3:09pm:
We have shut down the comment section to this thread as we felt it was getting beyond a reasonable debate on the issue and into personal attacks on a situation that many were not familiar with. If you have concerns about this you can feel free to email us as firstname.lastname@example.org and we will communicate with you via that method.