MICHAEL LOVATO | Professional Triathlete

 

PART BEAR. PART MAN. ALL AMERICAN

 

The USADA

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wednesday morning I woke up at 6:00am to head over for a 7:00am swim workout. I was up and ready to roll by 6:30…. there was only one problem: Amanda was still in bed, and wasn’t budging. Normally the opposite scenario plays out: I am in bed, while Amanda is attempting to get me rolling. I realized I was not winning the battle, so rather than venture out on my own, I jumped back into bed, and cut a few more z’s with the wife.

Why is this noteworthy? Well, on the one hand, it’s proof that sometimes I am the first one up in our household; but more importantly, our sleepiness managed to keep me to the previously determined schedule I had sent to USADA. This is the US Anit-Doping Agency. I had sent them a schedule of my whereabouts for the entire quarter, because I’m now in their Out of Competition Testing pool. This means that I have to tell them where I’ll be, on a quarterly basis, for the entire year. When I filled out the form, I planned on doing the 9:00am swim workout, not the 7:00am session, so it turns out… I needed to sleep in!

I arrived at the pool, and minutes after beginning the workout, I met with Travis, my USADA testing agent. I politely asked them to wait until I had finished, which the kindliy obliged me. As they waited up on deck, a bit chilly out there, I churned out my first decent swim workout in about three months.

After finishing Travis and I headed to the lockers where I changed, and he “accompanied” me. He has to go everywhere I go, after “serving notice”, just to be certain that I do not do anything fishy. Not sure what that could be, but fishy is fishy. I showered, dried off, and headed to a more private bathroom upstairs. Being post-workout as I was, I did not know if I’d be able to provide a full sample. Dehydration can be tough on sample giving.

I was able to fill the sippy cup, and later filled my two test viles. The procedure is actually pretty air-tight, not unlike the test viles. As we sat on the bathroom floor of Flatiron Athletic Club, performing what looked like a boring chemistry experiment, I imagined how many of my competitors are going through these same procedures. My hope is that many are doing do, but the reality is that it’s an expensive process, and I’m not sure how frequently this happens worldwide.

After Travis acknowldeged that I had sufficient quantity, and after checked my pH and specific gravity (that of my urine actually), we packed it up. I was done for now… besides the waiting six weeks for the results.

4 Comment(s)

Bolder on 1/11/07 said:

ok, i actually believe you are actually going to blog regularly, so i actually am going to leave you a comment.

trying to see the silver lining in having to give a sample, i’m going to guess that hopefully the USADA showing up for your swim workout, will help motivate you to get up, and go, to the next early one.

that’s all i’ve got.

Tri-Dummy on 1/11/07 said:

It’s an interesting concept…anti-doping officials hitting you up during the off-season, based upon a pre-determined schedule. I have trouble keeping up w/my schedule from day to day.

I can think of some other professional sports that should try off-season testing.

-Brandon on 1/11/07 said:

just make sure you show up or you might be jason sager’d

allbilly on 1/31/07 said:

so did you volunteer for this or is this mandatory.

i have some very, very strong feelings in regards to this manner of “testing” and if you care, i’ll gladly share them with you.

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