Scott McPherson lays out theories on how he tested positive at ABQ

In my Times of San Diego story on M60 walker Scott McPherson and his four-year doping ban, I report that USADA found no other drug positives at Albuquerque indoor nationals. So that’s newsy news. The rest is Scott’s theories on how steroids entered his system. I also quote a USADA spokeswoman at length saying they did everything just right. Basically devolves into a he-said, she-said. My heart sank when he told me one other thing — he missed his flight home because of being stuck in drug control. Didn’t get back until midnight. Anyway, check out the yarn, and tell me what it weaves.

Scott McPherson sent a photo to USADA to help prove he wasn’t on steroids.

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July 28, 2017

11 Responses

  1. whowouldbeyourdaddy - July 29, 2017

    I too am a middle to back of the pack athlete. If I saw I was in jeopardy of missing a flight….I’d leave…….unless USADA were willing to pay for a missed flight.

  2. Michael D Walker - July 29, 2017

    Your article is on the “Track and Field News” web site. The USDA tells a somewhat different story from what Scott says happens. Apparently there were several other athletes being tested at the same time. Have any of them commented on how the testing was done? It would be interesting to get their feedback.

  3. Gary Snyder - July 29, 2017

    If you walk away you are banned with no appeal possible

  4. Thomas Sputo - July 29, 2017

    I’m going to repost here what I wrote on a previous post.

    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.

    Once USADA, who is a state actor no matter what pravda they wish to pronounce, decides that they want to play fair and provide the athletes real rights, not the so-called rights that they say they give, and use a process that ensures these rights are protected, then I will shut up. But a process where the accused has to prove their innocence has to be viewed as suspect by anyone who believes in individual rights.

  5. Clay Larson - July 29, 2017

    There is something wrong with the Scott McPherson story. According to the report on the USADA website, McPherson’s anti-doping violation was initially based on testing that evaluated his sample as part of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) program. As described by USADA/WADA, the ABP program is based on an “intra-individual” comparison of specified biomarkers with samples that were previously collected from the athlete. This would mean that Mr. McPherson must have been tested multiple times in the past. This is certainly surprising for a Masters athlete in the walking events who has only been competing for one year.

  6. Michael D Walker - July 30, 2017

    Thomas, you write like a lawyer and it sounds like you understand the system. maybe you can start the process to get the court to rule that the USDA is a state actor.

  7. Thomas Sputo - July 30, 2017

    In reply to #5, no, I’m not a lawyer, I am the World’s Greatest Structural Engineer (tongue in cheek). But in running my business for 30 years, combined with my general distrust of government and how it continues to chip away at our individual rights and liberties, I have learned a lot.

  8. John Impson - July 30, 2017

    I would submit to the sample, but would go to an independent lab asap and have the same values tested. Follow the chain of custody per procedure and see what results.

  9. Ken Stone - July 30, 2017

    Good point, Clay!

    I’ve sent some more questions to USADA regarding this issue. Stay tuned.

  10. Craig Godwin - August 10, 2017

    I was tested in Albuquerque just a few hours after McPherson. I’m fairly certain he was gone before I arrived in the testing room.

    His description of “chaos” is the opposite of my experience. Being dehydrated from 2 days of racing, I spent 3 hours in the testing room. During that time it was never busy or crowded. For some periods I was the only athlete there. The handling of the samples was extremely careful, meticulous, and precise. I was really impressed with the process and the USADA staff. Everything was checked, double-checked and triple-checked, especially making sure all the sample serial numbers matched up. Everyone was calm, patient, and professional.

    Certainly things could have been different a little earlier in the day when McPherson was tested. But I wanted to share my experience to add some perspective and be fair to USADA.

  11. SimonM - September 3, 2017

    @ Clay Larson and Ken Stone… my point exactly, made July 25 and repeated below. Ken, please ask USADA why they are lying…

    “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.

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