Not enough face palm emojis for 49yr-old Cat 3 ("sport") being caught for doping

I recall a guy a few years ago being busted where I live (after destroying the field by mninutes in the state championships) and he actually showed up to the local, biggest, group ride to apologize to all the guys he beat in the race. It was probably one of the most painfully embarrassing things I’ve ever witnessed. He basically rode around the group ride apologizing to all of them and not a single one of them would look him in the eyes…basically ignored him for the whole 50 mile ride. He hasn’t shown his face since.


I can only hope he was on TRT and forgot to get a TUE (I’m not trying to open a debate on the legitimacy of that, btw). If not, just… why? It’s just such poor risk/reward judgement IMO.

I’m not particularly morally outraged - I am good friends with a former East German rowing coach who can give you chapter and verse on how no elite sport is wholly clean, so I’ve kind of accepted that - but cat 3 masters? Is it worth it, morals aside? It strikes me as betting £1000 to win a fiver (no offence to amateur racers, I’m just thinking of the lack of financial reward, potential professional risk, and huge personal embarrassment).

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I’m not saying it’s equivalent, but I do wonder why so many people look down so heavily on people who dope to cheat, but have very little issue with people who intentionally continue to use (or purposefully calibrate) trainers that we all know are highly inaccurate while racing on Zwift. Everyone knows those people who win Zwift races but can’t hold 20mph on the road. Why is this accepted when doping is so vehemently looked down upon?


at least he showed up and looked them in the eye. obviously there’s the fact he doped which is ridiculous, but we all make mistakes (some big ones) and you can’t take time back. at that moment, he was being the bigger person than everyone looking away. that doesn’t excuse doping of course or mean they should fully forgive him.


Good lord. Really? You’re that worried about Zwift races?

all non-professional racing is really just entertainment. but I’d suggest there’s a scale - a regional or national champs, people prepare for those and expect a fair competition. they are being cheated a bit by someone who is doping, although let’s face it - no one died.

a Zwift race? seriously who cares, unless it’s the official e-national champs or something. cheat away.

I don’t know anyone who does this (zwift cheat), sorry. Not everyone is a cheat-at-all-the-things person.

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I appreciate everyone helping to make my point.

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Also, he won a 2 person sprint in a race of 6 people, so yes, not really a big win :man_shrugging:. As you mentioned, I really hope that he just didn’t realize Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is considered doping. It wouldn’t shock me if he just considered it as something one gets prescribed. I also remember another rider that used a motor in his bike during a race. The motor user’s reason was that he just wanted to ride with his friends and couldn’t keep up anymore. In the Arizona case, he may have just thought that testosterone brought him back to his correct level rather than giving a competitive edge.

I’ve gotta say, I don’t actually know anyone who cheats at Zwift, and the dudes I race with in Zwift all get real results outside (except for me, who is terrified of actual road racing, since I like my collarbones). So, to make your point for you, perhaps I’m the one you’re talking about! I usually average around 28 km/h, after all :wink:

I suppose that if my real world bike and kit were as expensive as my Zwift bike and kit I’d probably be quite a bit faster in real life, though.

Personally, I’m super entertained by a 49 year old dude doping. I think Phil Gaimon started his whole Strava thing because some local amateur cyclist was doping to get KOMs…

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Are there collarbone pads that you can wear to protect against collarbone breaks in cycling? Or is it a function of people extending their hand to stop themselves from hitting the ground?

As for Zwift e-doping… does it really matter. Its not like there are financial rewards in Zwift.

There are collarbone pads: they’re commonly known as gloves😀

However they don’t work very well at protecting the collarbone :confused:

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I must be missing it, or you aren’t as clever as you think you are.

I asked why no one cares about cheating on Zwift. Everyone replied that they don’t care about cheating on Zwift.


2 out of 4. weird win, but ok.

I’m not here to argue and certainly not to “win”. I just threw out a data point for discussion. It’s clearly not a topic you’ve looked into or want to discuss since there are lots of examples of Zwift cheaters being caught and you’re only discussing your sample of 1. You can be the winner if you want. Or just move on and talk about something that interests you.

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I think that’s the basic rub in your statement–there is just about nothing similar between taking performance enhancing drugs in order to win a bike race, and stretching the rules while pedaling out some reps on a piece of furniture in your rec room. The performance enhancing issues include unnatural reconditioning of your body, often resulting in quite serious side effects that have an impact on your entire metabolism, one that could lead to serious if not fatal consequences, and the other equivalent to cheating at pinball, or a video game, where you’re fooling no one but yourself.

I find it hard to take Zwift racing very seriously, but let’s be clear; manipulating weight numbers, using a trainer you know throws out generous power numbers, etc etc - these are all unequivocally cheating, and in that sense, similar.

While cheating by taking drugs might well have much more serious consequences for your health, and is thus arguably more foolish from a personal perspective, there’s no moral distinction in my mind: in both cases, you’re looking to do things you know are against the rules to gain an advantage that your (normal) physiology doesn’t offer. In both forms, if you’re competing against others, you’re ‘fooling’ those others.

I still think the psychology of the original incident is the most interesting bit of this. It is a strange variant on Goldman’s dilemma.


This is where I’m at too. Thanks for explaining it so well. I’m surprised at how many people just wrote it off as “oh, it’s only online racing, I don’t care about that, but a Cat 3 race is much more important to me”. In my eyes, either way, people have been cheated and I’m against that. I was hoping to have this discussion. I also wonder if the “who cares” crowd is the majority or the vocal minority. If there was money involved in online racing (and that’s not far away), would it matter then? I think it’s an interesting topic that is only going to get more important as time passes and online racing becomes a big money sport.


It’s just weird that you want to equate real life cycling to zwift and ignore the folks that don’t share your opinion.

If you want to discuss it…

Yeah people care less about zwift doping, and the reasons aren’t hard to come up with.

For one, it’s a video game. In many people’s eyes, it will never merit legitimacy because of this.

But the big one is that there’s nothing anyone can do about it. If BigTimeZwifter123 is cheating, you are effectively powerless to act in any meaningful way.

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