Dave Fuentes racing after steroid suspension

This topic was began by me in this unrelated thread.

I have reposted my comments below for folks to look at and comment upon/judge for themselves. I shouldn't have posted it in an unrelated topic and hope that the original topic will be freed up from any of this 'taint.'

Quote:yeah, I think our break-away was doomed at the Hanford crit.

With a guy who tested positive for steroids in the move, we weren't all that interested in giving him a chance to win.

I'm wondering if he will give back all the prizes won after he tested positive on March 24, 2004? He raced the entirety of that season (2004) while the case underwent examination with our governing body.

He won many races that season (2004) after his positive drug test and collected quite a bit of prize money and merchandise.

Then, in November of that 2004 - he was sanctioned for 2 years RETROACTIVE to the date of his positive steroid test. Hence, he was able to race 3/25/06 ... PLEASE NOTE: in effect he was suspended only for the 2005 season and the first 3 months of this year.


This is what he tested positive for, oxymetholone

Here is the ruling.

- - -

My personal stance on Dave Fuentes racing: (please note this is my personal opinion of the matter and does not reflect the views of my team, my friends, my girlfriend's dog, or ncnca forums)


I am in favor of lifetime bans for all people caught using steroids. Please read the ruling linked above to get an idea of how POSITIVE this test was.

Here is an exerpt if you want:

4.5 Dr. Podraza, a clinical pharmacologist, testified that Oxymetholone is a Class III rated drug. This drug is not produced naturally in the body. While it cannot be obtained over the counter, it may be obtained over the Internet. ... He testified that the medicine [Oxymetholone] was originally developed for the treatment of anemia, some forms of breast cancer, and some wasting diseases, but that there are much more effective prescriptions for those conditions now. Oxymetholone has no pain killing benefit and is not prescribed for treatment of injuries. He indicated that it would benefit cyclists as it increases red blood cell production, increasing a rider's stamina and recovery time similar to EPO. ...

4.6 The Respondent [Fuentes] testified that on March 24, 2004, during one stage of the race [Redlands], he was involved in a crash and severely injured his shoulder. He was able to finish that stage, but was hampered by the injury. He testified that later that night he took some unknown medication that he had had in his possession for some time. This included
some pills in a black film canister that included some left over from an alleged prescription for a prior cycling injury. He could not recall what those pills were. The next day, March 25, 2004, he was unable to complete the race [dnf] due to the extreme pain. He was randomly selected for drug testing. He raced again on March 28 in the Criterium [amateur] and won that event.

- end quote [emphasis added]

- - -

As for primes during the final 5 laps of a crit ... i think it should be entirely at the discretion of the promoter. As should be allowing riders to participate, or NOT participate in their events.

We all have a choice.

AND SO ~ I would like to take a moment to add more thoughts for consideration. Firstly, I would like to emphasize that I believe that a person should be able to pay a penalty for breaking a rule. For example, if I get a ticket for being a crappy driver (yes, i am), then I expect that I should be able to pay a penalty and that should be the end of it. If my driving is so crappy that it necessitates my license being suspended - well then, I guess I'd have to accept that and not drive around for awhile until i learned how to do it a bit better.

In the instance of Dave Fuentes - he tested positive for steroid use. Did he "know" he was taking the drug? I do not care to hear his explanation of it. That solves nothing. He could be lying, or he could be telling the truth. How can we know? What does it matter hearing either? We must all decide for ourselves what we think/believe about this matter. Did he test positive for steroids? Yes. Read the report on his defense of his actions and weigh the matter for yourself.

This is what Dave Fuentes DID do - he knowingly competed in races when his suspension was in effect. I guess we must all come to our own conclusions about how we feel about that. But, I do think we should all KNOW about it.

Should Dave Fuentes be punished now that his suspension is over with? (again, please note that Fuentes competed for a complete season during one of the 2 years his suspension was retroactively enforced - meaning his only year not racing was 2005 ... yes, his results were 'nullified' for 2004, but he collected many, many dollars worth of promoters prize lists during that 2004/2005 time period. Why is that important? You'll need to decide for yourself if it is. Consider this - what if Fuentes won a fancy set of wheels at a race and the 2nd place rider was a developing junior rider who really, really could have used the wheelset? Would you be irked? Would you not care? You get to decide.)

My personal thoughts are that Dave Fuentes did NOT serve his full suspension. Perhaps my complaint should be with USA Cycling or the US Anti-doping organization and the fact that they enforced a penalty retroactively for a positive test for an anaebolic steroid. And yes, I do think that our sport suffers by such weak action by its governing body.

I believe, strongly, that steroid use should be cause for a ban for life from cycling. I believe that since our sanctioning body (USA Cycling) does so very, very little to stop drug use in our sport - that it falls on us, ALL OF US, to self-police our sport. I believe that it is our responsibility to make sure riders know that if they take steroids to win races, they are losers and will not be allowed to play our game ... ever.

Please look again at some of the side effects of steroid use. Please read about kids committing suicide from steroid use, kids being permanently harmed from steroid use, kids being sucked into steroid use by seeing other use them and excel at a given sport. Please investigate just how easy it is to get steroids in our society. Please consider that we have so very few tools to stop steroid use in our sport. We have virtually NO drug testing and we have ridiculously light sanctions for getting caught using steroids.

In my opinion, we are left to self-police our sport at a grassroots level. How is that done? I don't know. Casey Kerrigan tells us that we, as promoters, cannot refuse entry to a licensed rider not currently under suspension. Fine.

If, however, we could refuse a rider's entry, would it be 'fair' to do so regarding Dave Fuentes? That is for each of us to decide, I guess. My decision would be, "yes." I would refuse Dave Fuentes' entry into a race I promoted because I believe he did not serve his full suspension. I believe he defrauded promoters from hard-fought for sponsorship/prize dollars. And, I believe he took away prizes and results from other cyclists.

This, however, is my personal stance, and may not be of value to the cycling community. However, I do think that this is important enough of an issue to merit serious consideration.

Lastly, in the Hanford criterium there were definitely riders self-policing the peloton in regard to Dave Fuentes. I was one of those riders and openly accept any criticism for my actions. I honestly believe that Dave Fuentes defrauded promoters and racers during his suspension. I honestly do not believe he fulfilled the spirit of a 2-year suspension from our sport's governing body. I honestly believe that he knowingly took steroids to win bike races.

I accept any and all criticism for these stances. I will have to really examine how I feel about competing against Dave Fuentes for the remainder of this year in bike races. I will have to examine how I feel about any sponsor that allows Fuentes to race under their name. This is a very, very difficult issue and i must say that I am confused and disgusted by it. I do pity Dave Fuentes in that he must endure this type of continuing public scrutiny. However, I do believe he took steroids to win races. And I firmly believe steroid use should be cause for lifetime bans from our sport.

This sucks.

michael hernandez

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