MICHAEL LOVATO | Professional Triathlete




Out of Competition

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I slept way in this morning, and by way in, I mean until 10:30AM. Amanda graciously allowed me to continue my slumber well past her early hour wake-up time of 7:00AM. Well past it. In fact, she was on her way back from a run when she decided to call me at home to see if I wanted a coffee from Spruce. (I love Spruce.) It was that call that woke me up at 10:30. I might have slept until 11:00 otherwise! Did I forget to mention that I’m part bear?

After a fairly slow start to the day (I opted out of the coffee offer), I found myself outside for the first time around 1:15PM. The dogs asked me to take them for a neighborhood walk, since they, too, chose to skip this morning’s run with Amanda. We’re a smart bunch.

We did one of our regular loops through the ‘hood, stopping a few times to dive our heads into deep snow drifts (Luna), to shiver (Blue), and to pick-up some animalpoop (me). The fact that I was enjoying the 31-degree warmth indicates that I’ve officially made the mental switch that is key to cold weather adaptation. Temps in the forties seem balmy to me now.

Upon return to the house, I spotted a strange vehicle in the driveway. At first I thought some solicitors were too cold to walk door-to-door, and had chosen to drive door-to-door. Then the car’s occupants hopped out and introduced themselves to me as USADA doping control agents. Once again, I was being tested Out of Competition.

This marks the fifth time USADA has come to my house (or to Flatiron Athletic Club) to test me outside of an event in 2007. My grand total for tests this year is eight, once you add the three tests I passed at Ironmans.

The agents told a funny story about how an athlete out in California ducked a test they had targeted him for, and he did so by hiding under the blanket on the couch. The agent testing him could actually see him pull the blanket over his head, after she knocked on his door. I laughed at how silly one must be to think this is an effective method of hiding.

However, it’s not funny that he is intentionally skipping his test. I do not think he was a triathlete, but nonetheless, he’s an athlete who chooses not to follow the testing protocol. He is, therefore, choosing not to play by the rules. This makes him a cheater, and I don’t like hearing about other athletes cheating. I know they are out there, in all sports, taking advantage in one way or another; it just makes me sad to hear about it firsthand.

All I can do is to continue providing samples to the doping control agents; to keep submitting my quarterly schedule to USADA; and to hope that more of these cheaters get caught, and are brought out from under their blankets.

12 Comment(s)

Curly Su on 12/29/07 said:

your attitude towards being randomly tested is great; you’re a role model for the sport–thank you.

bbieberitz on 12/30/07 said:

I sure hope they find the cheaters too. It really sucks that they are out there and even winning races while the clean athlete busts their ass and still winds up short. Keep up the good work and rub it in their face every win you get! (but not in an overly cocky way….)

Cody the Clydesdale on 12/31/07 said:

8 times? They’re like vampires! I agree about stopping the cheaters. Thankfully
due to the heavy testing triathlon doesn’t have the problems that baseball & cycling have.

Cody the Clydesdale on 12/31/07 said:

By the way, i’d love to find out how you went from soccer to pro-triathlete
Those are pretty different sports.

Duane on 12/31/07 said:

Thanks so much for the pic!!!!

Dave on 12/31/07 said:

Great entry !!! I wish more pro athletes in all sports had your attitude. This is why you are a WINNER – in triathlon and in life.


Shelley on 12/31/07 said:

You are such a grat triathlete! I admire you! Have a Happy New year!

Comm's on 12/31/07 said:

You have motivated me to ring in the new year with an 8 mile run tonight. Finishing at the stroke of midnight. Hopefully. Its going to be below 50 degrees tonight in Phoenix and thats officially colder than my ice box.

Bigun on 1/2/08 said:

Thanks for setting the example – I hope your 8 tests is a “fair share” for sampling amongst pro triathletes.

If they tested for cakes, cookies, brownies and banana bread, I’d be guilty right now.

Train hard!

Ryan on 1/3/08 said:

Hiding under the blanket worked on my daughter when she was three years old. I quite doing that when she turned four and started hitting the blanket in which I was hiding under. Why in the world she chose to hit the blanket right in the middle (ahem, you know right in the middle) as hard as she could I don’t know but I think one of them is still lost up there somewhere.

allbilly on 1/11/08 said:

Well, the good news is you have an easy way to prove you are NOT a Cheater. The bad news if they are wasting time testing the same guy 8 times in one year are they missing the actual people that are cheating.

Do they publish these random tests anywhere.

They SHOULD….so the world could see who gets tested when.

Keep up the great work and keep the faith.

Anonymous on 1/16/08 said:

don’t succum to your old, deviant ways…post another blog entry!

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