M60 Scott McPherson on USADA 4-year doping sanction: ‘I’m done’

Scott is a former “back-of-the-packer” 5K and 10K fun runner who quit because of knee problems.

Scott McPherson of Lubbock, Texas, called me Wednesday to talk about his 4-year doping ban by USADA. Yes, he’s the optometrist I found online. No, he’s not a drug cheat. He calls this case “comical” because he’s been race walking only a year as a hobby. Here’s what I learned in a 20-minute chat: He’s 5-4, 110 pounds “dripping wet” and a back-of-the-pack former roadie who insists he’s never taken steroids. He’s not sure how the drug got into his system, but he suspects it was the “goop” that he accidentally touched on a bleacher seat behind him at ABQ nationals — or a contaminated sample. He chose not to fight the USADA sanction because he didn’t want the expense of a lawyer. He said: “I’m done.” He has no idea why he was chosen for testing, but he said he saw chaos in the testing area where 7 or 8 other athletes also were giving urine samples — and where two unlabeled partial containers were combined in front of him and called his. He says he and his wife are deacons in a Lubbock church and when friends hear of his USADA case they just shake their heads and say, “”You got to be kidding!” I’m seeking comment from USADA HQ for the sake of a deeper story in Times of San Diego. Stay tuned.

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July 26, 2017

18 Responses

  1. whowouldbeyourdaddy - July 27, 2017

    If he’s using steroids…..he should demand a refund !

  2. Thomas Sputo - July 27, 2017

    What Scott describes is nothing like the calm process shown in this USADA propaganda video. It will be interesting to see how USADA responds to your request for comment, but I think you we will all be waiting a long time.

    https://www.usada.org/testing/sample-collection-process/

  3. Gary Dixon - July 27, 2017

    Reads like the testing area was run by the same group the did the Wednesday evening packet pick-up and implement drop off.

  4. track fan - July 27, 2017

    Scott says he’s done and who can blame him? Absolutely ridiculous. Keep these “busts” coming and we can watch our participation numbers plummet. Who needs this aggravation and embarrassment? There’s a snowball’s chance in hell that I’ll ever see Scott competing at a meet but if I do I will extend him a very warm “welcome back.”

  5. Terry Parks - July 27, 2017

    Steroids help you recover faster, so you can do more and better workouts in a given time period. If you are not a power athlete and not doing a lot of weights, using steroids would not make you any bigger. You get more muscles from doing weighs and workouts, drugs are not not magic bullets that you take and are magically transformed.

  6. track fan - July 27, 2017

    All true Terry but what’s your point as it relates to Scott? That just because he’s not a muscular guy doesn’t mean he’s not taking steroids?

  7. Stevan Dixon - July 27, 2017

    Some asked why Terry made a point about recovery using steroids. Maybe it had something to do with the first comment about getting a refund if the guy used them. The point was that guys like Lance Armstrong have used them for recovery/performance and not to add muscle weight.
    Maybe Scott already has wasted time trying to fight it and doesn’t think its worth it but I would hope that someone who spent all that money going to meets, which included Word’s in Perth, would want to get to the bottom of this. Not only to clear his innocence but also for future athlete’s who spend the money and time he did last year not wanting to be falsely accused??

  8. Why test a solo walker?? - July 27, 2017

    Usually I am very skeptical about the denials/excuses provided after someone gets nailed with a hot test result. But I believe the athlete this time.

    Why?? I checked his times to see if they were close to the All American Standards for race walking. They aren’t. It wasn’t like he popped on the scene and destroyed a field of accomplished race walkers, he was the only person in his group. A self proclaimed “back of the pack 5k/10K guy” performing pretty much like you would expect. He walks at a healthy 10 plus minutes per mile pace. Good for him, he’s in better shape then 99% of his peers. But his performance certainly wouldn’t raise any eyebrows.

    We have some great officials, and some not so great officials. I’d be afraid to have some of the latter taking samples of anyone. And the story about chaos in the testing area is also scary. If I ever get tested, I would have my phone out videoing the protocols.

    I hope Mr. McPherson continues to walk and stay fit, even if he can’t do it in sanctioned events.

  9. Stevan Dixon - July 27, 2017

    I look forward to seeing your follow up with this Ken Stone. I was of the understanding that USADA was very professional in their process. If for some reason they aren’t, I hope they are found out quick to right the wrongs and keep people from feeling like they have no recourse because they can’t afford a lawyer.

  10. track fan - July 27, 2017

    At the risk of commenting too much, I will comment once more and be done. Google “USADA the Unconquerable” by Brian Dziewa of the St. Louis University School of Law. Read pages 19-27. It will open your eyes and clarify why Scott or other accused athlete has little recourse, it has nothing to do with money for a lawyer.

  11. Thomas Sputo - July 27, 2017

    To add to #9, USADA has fought against being considered as a state actor, which it clearly is by any reasonable consideration of the facts. If USADA was required, as a state actor, to not freely infringe on Constitutional rights, things would be a lot different.

  12. Mary Harada - July 28, 2017

    I was drug tested at the Indoor Meet in Finland and it was handled in a very professional manner. If I were drug tested again and it was handled in the manner that seems to be the case here – I too would be video taping it. Apparently they tested him to prove that it is “random”. Ok – fine – but if in fact it was such a bungled mess the results should be thrown out. However I bet that this gentleman will not compete again for fear of being singled out as a “cheat”. Where does he go to get his reputation back?

  13. John Impson - July 28, 2017

    If I were ever tested, I would request a duplicate sample, marked in a chain of custody manner, and have an independent QA/QC lab also analyze it.

  14. Michael D Walker - July 28, 2017

    I think that there is no doubt that Scott is innocent and it is a shame that he gets wrongly punished. I feel bad for him. The system for masters is flawed and should be addressed. It could happen to any of us. But, let’s face it, there are athletes at both the elite and masters levels that are intentionally cheating. How do we address that?

  15. tb - July 28, 2017

    I think that there is no doubt that Scott is innocent

    Personally, Wm. Shakespeare comes to mind.

  16. track fan - July 28, 2017

    John (#13) you would not be permitted to have a duplicate sample verified by a chain of custody. USADA owns all samples and will not release them to anyone. An athlete has no right to obtain full disclosure of laboratory analysis or an impartial assessment of their accuracy and no such evidence will be allowable in the arbitration process. Everyone should read the article I referenced in my earlier post to know exactly how USADA arbitration is conducted and what may happen if you are as unlucky as Scott.

  17. Thomas Sputo - July 28, 2017

    As #16 alludes to, with USADA the burden of proof is on the athlete to prove innocence, not for USADA to prove guilt. Pretty much goes against our way of thinking here in the US. But until someone can get a court to rule that USADA is a state actor (which they most assuredly are), no athlete has any of the Constitutional protections that we as Americans hold so dear, including the 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search, the 5th Amendment right against self incrimination (USADA requires an athlete to self incriminate on the testing from, under penalty of a violation of not self reporting), and the 6th Amendment of being able to face your accuser. USADA also does not allow discovery, which effectively means that USADA can withhold exculpatory evidence that would clear an athlete. Yeah, real fair process going on.

  18. Paul Murphy - July 29, 2017

    “He has no idea why he was chosen for testing, but he said he saw chaos in the testing area where 7 or 8 other athletes also were giving urine samples — and where two unlabeled partial containers were combined in front of him and called his.”

    Wait a minute, “two unlabeled partial containers were combined in front of him and called his?” UNLABELED? And the testers say everything was done “just right?” Sorry, if that’s what happened, it’s just wrong.

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