W50 LDR Kristi Anderson accepts 12-month doping suspension

So much for the theory you can get a drug waiver after the fact. Kristi Anderson, a W50 marathoner, was slapped with a 12-month doping suspension despite USADA accepting her explanation that she was taking banned DHEA under a health-care provider’s care. In her case, the positive test came at a Pikes Peak Marathon in August. She didn’t try for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), which masters tracksters are supposed to seek at major WMA or USATF meets. But in 2011, a USADA spokeswoman told me: “The FIRST time a Level 2 athlete tests positive for one of the substances listed in 1-4 above, they will have an opportunity to submit medical documentation to USADA to demonstrate the medical need for such medications. If the medical file substantiates that the athlete used the prohibited substance only for medical needs, and if the medical file puts to rest any suspicion of doping or the intent to dope, then the athlete will not incur an anti-doping rule violation.”

Apparently this didn’t apply to Kristi. The USADA process for TUE is “explained” here.

Here’s the original news release:

December 23, 2014

USADA announced today that Kristi Anderson, of Longmont, Colo., an athlete in the sport of track & field, has accepted a 12-month sanction for an anti-doping rule violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance administered with the support of a medical advisor.

Anderson, 51, tested positive for Dehydroepiandrosterone (“DHEA”) as a result of an in-competition urine sample she provided at the Pikes Peak Marathon held in Colorado Springs, Colo. on August 17, 2014. DHEA is substance in the class of Anabolic Agents prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Association of Athletics Federations (“IAAF”) Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

After a thorough review of the case, including a review of Anderson’s medical records, USADA accepted Anderson’s explanation that she used DHEA under the care of a healthcare provider for therapeutic purposes and not with the intent to enhance her athletic performance. After considering all the relevant circumstances, USADA determined that a 12-month period of ineligibility, rather than the standard two-year period of ineligibility, was the appropriate sanction for Anderson’s anti-doping rule violation.

Anderson’s period of ineligibility began on October 11, 2014, the date she accepted a provisional suspension. In addition, Anderson has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 17, 2014, 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, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, 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.

I’m hoping to talk to Kristi, and learn what efforts she made to avoid a suspension — and whether she has any track credits to her name.

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December 24, 2014

13 Responses

  1. Tom Sputo - December 24, 2014

    Unfortunately, I think that you are going to find that the waiver for a beforehand TUE is limited to only substances that are prohibited in-competition. DHEA is prohibited both in and out of competition. I think that this is the explanation. Unfortunately, I doubt that she would have been awarded a TUE if she applied. Which brings up the problems that Masters athletes face when dealing with rules intended for elite open athletes. And no, I’m not intending on opening up this can of worms again.

  2. Bubba Sparks - December 25, 2014

    I’m with you Tom. Just got my annual physical and my total testosterone is 22 – normal for my age is 552. I couldn’t get a TUE yet they gave one to a 41 year old golfer with his numbers in the mid 200s.

  3. Milan Jamrich - December 25, 2014

    so why did she used Dehydroepiandrosterone?

  4. Ken Stone - December 26, 2014

    Milan, Kristi explains DHEA use here:

  5. Weia Reinboud - December 27, 2014

    Is that an explanation? Compare Bubba.

  6. Milan Jamrich - December 27, 2014

    Do other marathons test for drugs? New York, Chicago, Boston?

  7. Robert Reveal - December 27, 2014

    While normally I feel the drug suspensions are not tough and rigid enough, if you read some of the materials floating on the Internet from Kristi on her use (http://masterstrack.com/2014/12/33461/) I am of the opinion that the 12 month suspension in not warranted. Clearly a difficult subject to deal with, but think they got it wrong this time.

  8. Mark Cleary - December 30, 2014

    Many of our USATF road race championships that have money for Masters don’t even test. I wish they would cut back on the race prize money and fund some testing. Some of the people that used to race on the track here is southern California where I live only run on the roads now. One even claimed to break the current American record for either the 5 or 10k.This was the day before the World Championships started in Sacramento. he claimed getting the paperwork signed off was to many hoops to jump through. I think it was more like a guilty conscious that he would be taking the record away from someone who set it clean. It’s pretty fishy7 at best why wouldn’t this individual drive a few hours north the following week if he was in that kind of shape and run against the best in the World at5 the WMA Championships where when you set a record it’s automatic ” no paperwork”. This individual took a pass on the Championships why because they TEST plain and simple.

  9. christian cushing-murray - December 31, 2014

    interesting how much interest this has generated, between this site and others, so i might as well take a stab at an opinion.

    1) i’m glad she got suspended, but i’m also glad it doesn’t appear that the suspension will have any effect on her running career, and probably shouldn’t.

    2) if she really wants to be a competitive runner (versus a recreational runner), there are rules, and we, from elites to running moms, ought to abide by them and accept the consequences for not abiding them.

    3) i’ll also respond to the semi-veiled accusations by mr. cleary, mainly because i may know who he’s talking about (no, it’s not me), and while i personally didn’t set any records in the 5k or 10k (as if you really don’t know which event, mark?), i definitely took a pass on competing in beautiful sacramento (can anybody here vouch for sacramento as being an optimal place to set long distance records on the track?) that year for too many reasons to enumerate here. however, i’d hate for someone to mistake my disdain for running a 5k potentially by myself (likely if you’re in record-setting shape) in 90 degree temps as a fear of drug testing. i also doubt that someone taking drugs would then suddenly have a guilty conscience about taking someone’s record. i can also vouch for the “hoops” for setting records, having set a record that will not get ratified because of said hoops. however, i can not vouch for mr. cleary’s mind-reading abilities as to knowing “plain and simple” why someone took a pass, other than he apparently has no clue as to why i took a pass.

    4) but back to the main point, i have won a variety of national masters titles and won prize money and i’ve never failed a drug test, partially because i’ve never taken a drug test as a masters athlete. it’s possible i’ve lost money to drug cheats–can’t be sure–so i am glad there are races that do test, and mark’s point that more races (especially those with prize money) should fund testing is completely valid…

  10. Kelly - January 1, 2015

    Yes, Christian! Other reasons perhaps for not running WMA in Sacramento could be the prohibitive cost and the schedule (not conducive to working people), not to mention the insane heat for running distance races.

    As a 50+ masters female runner myself, I have been following these articles with some interest. I’ve never been drug tested, although I’ve run at quite a few national races in my masters career – probably because most of them were xc or trails. It seems like very, very few races do test and as a result, we have no idea if any or how many people might be using performing enhancing drugs or for what reason.

    How much, if any, effect would this drug have on her performance? Or is it solely banned as a masking agent?

    I’m also curious as I’m not there yet – and this is probably not the forum for this – about what is proscribed for menopausal women? And what are the effects/benefits? I don’t think there is that much information regarding treatments vis-a-vis athletic performance in post-menopausal women.

  11. Mark Cleary - January 15, 2015

    The 5k and 10k races were run at night, so that wasn’t an issue in Sacramento. Christian I was not speaking of you. There is a banned athlete Mr. Hesch and he did have a strong connection to some athletes in the LA area that is a fact.
    I will leave it at that

  12. Kevin Barda - February 10, 2015

    So by your logic Mark every runner that did not compete at Worlds in Sacramento should be thought of as a PED user? Never mind that at best an athlete would have to take of one day to run the 5000 (which was on Sat night) and at least two days, more likely three days to run the 10000 which was on a Wednesday night.

    How many athletes did not run in Sacramento even though you claim they would be running against the best in the world, which is dubious at best considering the winning times. in the M50 5000 the top 5 times were 15:39, 16:17, 16:21, 16:31, and 16:36.

    At the Carlsbad 5000 in 2014 the top 5 times for the 50-59 age group were 16:18, 16:27, 16:34, 16:35, and 16:42. Pretty comparable I would say. Yet many did not run this race, must be because they are using PED’s, right? I mean why else would they skip a race in SoCal and not take the opportunity to compete against “the best in the world?”

    Or to continue this logic why did many of the top masters runners skip USATF XC Nationals this past weekend in Boulder? As they were drug testing there it HAS to be because who ever did not show was using PED’s, right? By the way, why did you not race in Boulder?

    I think it is highly unprofessional of our SoCal USATF Masters Track and Field rep to throw around public accusations against fellow competitors.

  13. Ken Stone - August 18, 2015

    Masters weightlifter suspended after testing postive at his nationals. Won silver:


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