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Irish masters road race champion handed four-year doping ban

Dale Walker tested positive for steroids after winning title in September last year

A cyclist who won the Irish Masters Road Race Championship in September last year has been handed a four-year suspension after testing positive for a cocktail of banned drugs following the race.

Cycling Ireland and Sport Ireland today announced that the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ISADDP) had found that Dale Walker had committed an anti-doping rule violation after testing positive for several prohibited substances following the race on 15 September 2019.

In its reasoned decision, the ISADDP noted that Walker had tested positive for the prohibited substances epioxandrolone, oxandrolone, 18-noroxandrolone and boldenone and/or boldenone metabolite(s).

The 47-year-old amateur rider requested that his B sample be tested, and the same prohibited substances were found.

He was told that if he could establish that the violations were not intentional, he might face a ban of up to two years, but if he was unable to do so, a ban of four years would apply.

He said that he had taken a number of over-the-counter supplements as well as products bought online from the United States, and offered to provide Sport Ireland with samples of them.

He claimed that one or more of the products may have been contaminated, or contained banned substances not mentioned in the ingredients on the label.

In its submission to the panel, Sport Ireland said that “it is not sufficient for an athlete to suggest that the source of a prohibited substance must be a contaminated supplement or food because he or she would never take a banned substance. There are a variety of cases which support this view.”

As a result, it suggested that he was unable to explain the source of the banned substances for which he had tested positive.

The drug testing laboratory in Cologne that tested the A and B samples also tested unsealed and sealed tubs of a supplement called Total War, and found traces of one of the banned substances in the former, but not in the latter.

The panel found that Sport Ireland had established its case that the urine samples contained four prohibited substances or their metabolites or markers and accordingly that Walker had committed four anti-doping violations.

His partially retroactive ban will expire on 4 November 2023.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Rick_Rude | 3 years ago

So which brand of supplements is it that all these athletes accidently ingest steroids from?

Can I find it in Home Bargains?

The general public also don't understand steroid use. Andrea Iannone the Motogp is facing a steroid ban and half the people on bike forums can't understand why he'd use and not look like Arnold. Just look at cycling, hardly beefcakes but they still use it. Loads think he's innocent just because he's not massive.

Seagull2 | 3 years ago
1 like

He may have been lured by the 5 star reviews for the supplements in question !?    Many years ago an "alternative practitioner" was busted in Ireland when their super dooper "natural" eczema cream which worked like a charm was discovered to be laced with steroids  ....      

Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago

It never ceases to surprise me that in this day and age riders are still trying to use the "its me supplements Govner" defense.   

Even if they were contanimated if you were buying some crap off the internet from the States you deserve what you get. 

Presumably if you are so minded its possible to come up with a "whitelist" of safe supplements, if only by looking at what the Pro's are publicly taking.

nniff replied to Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago

He sounds like a walking test tube.  One prohibited substance in a supplement would be unfortunate, but four is definitely careless.  It does rather make you wonder if his definition of an over-the-counter supplement is rather more liberal than is prudent.

jaymack replied to nniff | 3 years ago
1 like

You may well be right, I'd have thought much the same 'till I read Christine Aschwanden's excellent book "Good to Go". A fascinating read which demonstrates just how much quackery exists within the world of supplements as well as the problems rouge ingredients can cause for the unwary. £10 spent on her book could save many an athlete, be they recreational or those of a more serious bent, from a whole heap of woe. The chapter on the use of beer as a recovery aid enabling women to run faster was particularly informative! 

nniff replied to jaymack | 3 years ago
1 like

jaymack wrote:

 The chapter on the use of beer as a recovery aid enabling women to run faster was particularly informative! 

I don't dare ask!

Gkam84 replied to Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago

Secret_squirrel wrote:

Presumably if you are so minded its possible to come up with a "whitelist" of safe supplements, if only by looking at what the Pro's are publicly taking.

You don't even need to come up with one, there is one out there for everyone to use. Informed Sport do batch testing on many supplements. 15 page PDF of safe supplements.

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