A story broke early this afternoon on AP that local masters rider, and writer, Andrew Tilin was handed a two year doping suspension by the USADA. A more comprehensive story was written later that evening by VeloNation which picked up the story around 7 pm PST. Tilin, a writer, has written a book to be published later this spring titled The Doper Next Door: My Strange and Scandalous Year on Performance-Enhancing Drugs to be published by Counterpoint, a publishing house located in the East Bay.
Despite having produced few results, and apparently chronicling the drug use as a first person journalism exercise, results amongst the NorCal Cycling community have been negative. An independent source (holy crap, i just said independent source like i’m a real news dude!) has verified that Tilin had approached a member of the NorCal cycling community to get their thoughts regarding doping, after identifying himself as a writer, in masters categories, as far back as 2008.
As publicity stunts go this is sensational. The sanction would have been timed better to come out right after the book was released, so this could backfire given the negative reaction it is receiving to date. Assuming this mostly chronicles Tilin’s personal journey on PED’s it falls into the same vein as the famous Outside article “Drug Test” which follows Stuart Steven’s experimentation with several PED’s under the care of an anti-aging specialist. Since i’m not on the advance look list (dude – hit. us. up!) I will make a big leap and say that nobody on the local or medical level get thrown under the bus which will disappoint many who feel that master’s doping is as out of control as it is in the ProTour.
As a creative exercise I think there is some merit to the Hunter Thomson like descent into the middle of the story. He might have tried to do a better job of getting out in front of the story, or letting any of his old clubs know the 411, but judgment here doesn’t seem to be top notch. Either way, i don’t think this is really the smoking gun that doping is rampant in masters racing, but it will hopefully demonstrate how hard/easy it is and open some people eyes the the dangers and pitfalls that come with drug abuse. However, like drug education in high school (at least like it was at my high school), this will sadly only get more people to do it. As Hernando says… “What ever. I’m still going to beat you one day!”
And… just to cover myself… if this was an april fools joke… well. brilliant, pure brilliance!
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