M60 walker Scott McPherson handed 4-year doping suspension

Scott McPherson, an M60 race walker, is the latest masters athlete to be penalized for doping. USADA announced Monday that Scott — who took fifth in the 3K and 10K walks at Daegu worlds — tested positive at Albuquerque indoor nationals for “presence of an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid and/or its metabolites.” He was the lone entrant in his age group in the mile walk and 3K walk. So if was doping for the sake of an advantage, he certainly didn’t need it. USADA says he’ll be sidelined till 2021: “McPherson’s four-year period of ineligibility began on March 23, 2017, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, McPherson has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to February 18, 2017, the date his positive sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.” I don’t know Scott, and I’m not sure if he’s the eye doctor in Lubbock I found online. But I’d love to hear his story. Please have him contact me at TrackCEO@aol.com. I suspect he’s more collateral damage than willful cheater.

Here’s the full USADA release:

USADA announced today that Scott McPherson, of Lubbock, Texas, an athlete in the sport of track & field, has received a four-year suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.

McPherson, 60, tested positive for the presence of an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid (AAS) and/or its metabolites, which was confirmed by carbon isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) analysis, as a result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on February 18, 2017, at the USATF 2017 Masters Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. Every urine sample that USADA collects is scrutinized under an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) program that examines levels of multiple steroid biomarkers of doping. Specific samples that exhibit atypical qualities are then targeted for more sophisticated IRMS analyses, which can reveal the presence of synthetic AAS use.

The use of any exogenous anabolic agent is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Association of Athletics Federations Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

McPherson’s four-year period of ineligibility began on March 23, 2017, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, McPherson has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to February 18, 2017, the date his positive sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, USADA manages a drug reference hotline, Global Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.

His Daegu and ABQ results:

M60 10000 m Race Walk
==========================
Name Age Team Finals
==========================
1 Luniewski, Miroslaw M60 Poland 53:38.00
2 Laflamme, Denis M63 Canada 55:54.00
3 Ruzzier, Fabio M64 Slovenia 56:31.00
4 Harasinski, Ryszard M60 Poland 59:41.00
5 McPherson, Scott M60 United States 1:06:30.00
6 Cheung, Kam Cheung M63 Hong Kong, China 1:09:27.00
7 Yeh, Ming-Chao M61 Chinese Taipei 1:13:05.00
8 Segui, Santiago M63 Spain 1:20:03.00

M60 3000 m Race Walk
==========================
Name Age Team Finals
==========================
1 Luniewski, Miroslaw M60 Poland 15:43.66
2 Ruzzier, Fabio M64 Slovenia 16:03.37
3 Laflamme, Denis M63 Canada 16:09.57
4 Harasinski, Ryszard M60 Poland 17:29.59
5 McPherson, Scott M60 United States 19:28.80

Event 900 M60 1 Mile Race Walk
==========================
Name Age Team Finals Points
==========================
1 385 McPherson, Scott M60 Unattached 10:37.67 8

Event 903 M60 3000 Meter Race Walk
==========================
Name Age Team Finals Points
==========================
1 385 McPherson, Scott M60 Unattached 20:06.27 8

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July 17, 2017

18 Responses

  1. Bob Arello - July 17, 2017

    Makes sure he gives up all his endorsement money and USATF Diamond League bonus cash received too.

  2. track fan - July 17, 2017

    Don’t forget public tarring and feathering as well as character attacks wrapped in lies and innuendo.

  3. whowouldbeyourdaddy - July 18, 2017

    I’m stating this tongue and cheek…..he may be one of those gents with low T . However; all joking aside; there are plenty of adults who need hormone replacement. I really don’t know how this should be handled in masters track. On one side; I wouldn’t like knowing I’m competing with someone who has a small advantage. On the other; I do feel compassion for those in need of medical help. Maybe we let them compete; but withhold any medals.

  4. Tom Sputo - July 18, 2017

    Bob Arello left out returning the milk money he got in kindergarten. On a serious point, we as a group of masters athletes need to have frank discussions about the differences between masters and open athletes and medical needs, and not let ourselves here in the US be bullied by the Germans and held hostage by WMA. After all, we beat them in WW2 and we can do it again.

  5. Michael D Walker - July 18, 2017

    I don’t know Scott’s story and hope that it was an honest mistake and not intentional. I agree with Tom in that we should look at the medical needs of Masters athletes and they may be different from elite athletes.

  6. The Dude - July 18, 2017

    Why link to some Lubbock eye doctor unless you’re SURE it’s the right guy…

  7. JStone - July 18, 2017

    Almost anyone in almost any U.S. city can find an MD, DC, or anti-aging clinic that is willing to prescribe testosterone and HGH for symptoms of normal aging. It’s pretty much a fact that as we age testosterone, estrogen, HGH, and other hormonal levels will drop significantly.

    USADA often reduces suspensions for being under the care of a doctor. Does anyone remember Paul Byrd, the MLB pitcher who got an HGH prescription from a dentist? I wonder if USDA takes into consideration whether or not HRT is covered by insurance, or if it is being paid for out-of-pocket, and the type of doctor providing the care.

    Protecting clean athletes from cheaters should be the top priority. Maximum participation for our niche sport also needs to be addressed. One possible solution could be allowing TUE’s, but displacing those athletes from medals, scoring, and records. Another solution, might be a separate TUE category complete with medals, scoring, and records.

  8. D Bailey - July 19, 2017

    Already a big discussion on Letsrun about this topic. In my opinion all USA Championship races should be drug free. Those that need to take PEDs under a doctors care can run in all comers meets and fun runs.

  9. Terry Parks - July 19, 2017

    JStone, People who use drugs already have separate places to compete. They skip USATF Nationals and regionals, and all WMA events.

  10. track fan - July 22, 2017

    Terry and “D” the problem we face is when prescription drugs cross over the line to PEDS. TUEs are notoriously difficult to obtain. If all USA Championship races need to be “drug free” and people who “use drugs” have to skip events, you will find that our already dwindling participation will continue to dwindle. Have fun running alone in your race, until of course your age requires you to “use drugs” and we wave good bye to you. Don’t think it won’t happen. Nearly 40% of adults 65 and over use five or more prescription meds so no matter how healthy you are now the odds are not in your favor.

  11. Michael D Walker - July 22, 2017

    regarding [10] Track fan’s note: in some cases, there can be medication options. I am over 65 and do take prescription medications and wanted to avoid the embarrassment of finishing at the back of the pack and failing a drug test so I discuss it with my doctor before adding or changing a med. It won’t cover all situations, but in my case, it was helpful.

  12. Thomas Sputo - July 22, 2017

    Note to #11. “In some cases, there can be medication options.” IN SOME CASES. Everyone remember that when casting stones. I have said it before, and I will say it again and again … until our sport gets real with acknowledging that there are differences between the medical needs of open elite athletes, and masters athletes, nothing is going to improve. Those of you who don’t even need to take an aspirin, more power to you. Count yourselves among the very lucky few.

  13. SimonM - July 23, 2017

    Question here really is WHY test a guy who “was the lone entrant in his age group in the mile walk and 3K walk” and clearly not setting world records?

    What’s his competitive advantage, exactly?

    What a waste of time, effort and money.

  14. track fan - July 24, 2017

    Answer to SimonM – Somehow they knew they’d get a positive on this guy. This test was not random. USADA targets the low hanging fruit of masters in order to keep the drug busts coming and show they are tough on dopers. The elites and those who win prize money are far too smart to get caught.

  15. Michael D Walker - July 25, 2017

    # 14, track fan is probably right

  16. SimonM - July 25, 2017

    Answer to track fan – Sounds right. However, the plot kind of thickens, as the official USADA statement announcing Scott’s sanction says:

    “Every urine sample that USADA collects is scrutinized under an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) program that examines levels of multiple steroid biomarkers of doping. Specific samples that exhibit atypical qualities are then targeted for more sophisticated IRMS analyses, which can reveal the presence of synthetic AAS use”

    Anyone know any masters athlete who has actually been tested long-term to establish his or her unique biochem profile?

    That IS the purpose of the Biological Passport.

    And USADA says that “every urine sample” it collects is compared to the norms for each individual athlete as established by the Passport.

    So let’s hear if USADA has done the baseline tests on Scott and whether he does have a Passport.

    If not, the USADA statement is, well, a lie.

  17. Michael D Walker - July 25, 2017

    # 16 – just ask Scott if he has been tested before

  18. Adrian Perez - July 25, 2017

    With anything there is use and then there is abuse. We all want those with a true medical need to get the treatment necessary. But heck, even the “little blue pill” can be used by some athletes for a chemical advantage. The sad part is stories like this hurt the sport we love. Look at US Cycling and it’s anorexic growth as an organization. Track and field has taken quite a few hits over the years, but the fans and members can only take so much. I’m not judging McPherson either way, just hate to read anything negative about my sport.

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