Mexican age group athlete Luis Fernando Pelcastre Rabanal received a four-year ban for doping.
Mexican age group athlete Luis Fernando Pelcastre Rabanal received a four-year ban for doping.

Amateur Mexican triathlete cops four year doping ban

IRONMAN has issued Mexican age group athlete Luis Fernando Pelcastre Rabanal a four-year ban for doping.

The winner of last year's 18-24 age group world championship tested positive to testosterone and a metabolite on October 11, 2017, during pre-competition testing at last year's world championship at Kona.

Pelcastre Rabanal has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to October 11, 2017, including results from the 2017 Ironman World Championship. His slot October's event has been forfeited, and he is ineligible to participate in any Ironman competition or event organised by any WADA Code Signatory for the next four years.

He won last year's event more more than 30 minutes, after finishing in 9:02:13 (57:41 swim, 4:45:30 bike and 3:12:13 run).

"We take a two-pronged approach to protecting the integrity of our Ironman World Championship events," said Kate Mittelstadt, director of the Ironman Anti-Doping Program.

"First, we ensure that all qualified athletes are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the anti-doping rules and our testing program. Second, we run a comprehensive in- and out-of-competition testing program, targeting both professional and age-group athletes around the Ironman World Championship.

"Combining urine and blood collection with the Athlete Biological Passport and advanced analytical screens, including EPO and IRMS, ensures that the testing we do supports both the deterrence and detection of qualified athletes who are in violation of the anti-doping rules."

Triathlon Australia (TA) introduced random testing of amateur athletes in 2015. Testing includes urine or blood tests -sometimes both.

At the time, TA participation and membership national manager Katie Kelly said testing selection involved focused methodology, including the analysis of times and acting on information from credible sources.

"Testing is extremely expensive so we do work on intelligence and work closely with ASADA on the best testing methodology," she said.

"We work closely with them in determining what positioning and what age groups we should be testing.

"The best testing you can do is intelligence-based testing.

"Any sport's administrator, you would be naïve to bury your head in the sand and say it is not happening in your sport.

"From our position we are very strong on this. Triathlon has had a wonderful history in this area...we have been a very clean sport not only in Australia but also internationally.

"A lot of testing happens in the elites through the ASADA and ITU program, but it's important to ensure that integrity of our sport is maintained at all levels."