Triathlete offended at drugs suggestion

JESSICA MADDOCK
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013
Triathletes
JESSICA MADDOCK/Fairfax NZ

TOP PERFORMERS: Some of the big names in the men's division of Challenge Wanaka. From left, Chris McCormack, Jamie Whyte, Leon Griffin, Keegan Williams and Bryan Rhodes.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Manny Pacquiao in strife with Nevada officials over non-disclosure of injury Darryl Fitzgerald's appeal against Canoe Racing New Zealand rejected Floyd Mayweather Jr $100m winner's cheque 'the real deal' Waikato Regional Council asked to help fund cycling cup with $25k Kiwi heavyweight Mark Hunt happy mixing religion and fighting as UFC showdown looms Prankster takes plunge at Diving World Series in London Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - May 5 Anaheim Ducks douse Calgary Flames to take 2-0 lead in best-of-seven series Anthony Mundine forced to delay Austin Trout fight due to 'severe ear condition' Team New Zealand chairman Keith Turner resigns

Four-times world champion triathlete Chris McCormack was "very offended" when it was suggested to him that he was taking performance-enhancing drugs.

McCormack, an Australian with 200 triathlon victories to his name, strongly supported the life ban on Lance Armstrong competing as a professional cyclist, during an interview yesterday.

McCormack is in New Zealand for Challenge Wanaka tomorrow, an iron-distance 3.8 kilometre swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run.

He said Armstrong had tainted the sport and wrecked the dreams and careers of many world-class cyclists who opposed drug cheating and had stood up to him.

Armstrong had sent a dangerous message to young athletes that they could "get away with" using performance-enhancing drugs and now another message had to be sent, that drug cheats would be punished.

McCormack said he was first exposed to the fact that triathletes may be using performance-enhancing drugs after a race in Spain in the mid-90s, at which he finished a "disappointing" fifth.

The coach of a Spanish athlete asked him what "medicine" he was taking, to which McCormack replied vitamin C and multivitamins.

"They thought I was just a naive Australian," he said.

"They couldn't believe it. He said, 'Come on, we are all big boys here'. I was very offended. It was the first time I thought maybe there are drugs in my sport.

"It never entered my head. If I got sick I went to the medical centre."

McCormack said he believed triathlons were "very clean" from performance-enhancing drug use.

"There are some bad apples, but they seem to get caught."

The sport had very "stringent" drug-testing policies. Athletes were tested by the organisers of each race and the sport was linked to the World Anti-Doping Agency, which could test athletes at any time.

McCormack, who has family ties with New Zealand through his late mother's iwi, Ngati Tuwharetoa, said, for him, preparing for an event and improving his performance was much more enjoyable than the outcome of the actual race.

"I have had many disappointments. But never did I think winning was more important than the journey."

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content