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Research Reveals Shocking Gaps in Anti-Doping Testing

T100 Tour athletes go untested, absorb Iron better, and easy aerodynamic tips

Good morning everyone,

It’s another race week here at Tempo HQ as on Friday I’ll be heading to Tampa for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. It’s an Olympic distance pro race which over the years has become more and more scarce, so I’m really looking forward to just under two hours of racing action.

  • And I’m also super excited to catch up with some subscribers who will also be there! 😃

In today’s edition: 

  • 💉 Research reveals shocking gaps in anti-doping testing.

  • 🩸 Why better absorption of Iron = better training.

  • 💨 And easy aerodynamic improvements!

Thanks for being here,

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


Research Reveals Shocking Gaps in Anti-Doping Testing


What is it: Yesterday, Pro Tri News released research into which T100 World Tour athletes are regularly tested for performance-enhancing drugs, and shockingly, which athletes are not tested regularly.

  • Those who do not receive regular ant-doping testing include current men’s T100 leader, Youri Keulin (NED), and previous T100 race winners Max Neuman (AUS) and India Lee (GBR).

How drug testing works: There are two times athletes can be tested, in competition and out-of-competition. Typically, athletes who reach a certain threshold of performance are included in a registered testing pool (RTP). When they are in a registered testing pool, they may be tested at any time out-of-competition.

  • Entities like IRONMAN and World Triathlon will have their own registered testing pools, as well as triathlon National Federations like USA Triathlon.

  • Out-of-competition testing ensures that athletes are held accountable 365 days a year.

T100 non-tests: For many, including this newsletter editor, it came as a shock that the T100 does not have its own registered testing pool, and does not regularly test its athletes out of competition. Instead, they rely heavily on IRONMAN and other entities to fund and conduct anti-doping programs.

  • This is surprising given the shocking positive drug test and ensuing negative fallout of 2022 T100 US Open winner Colin Chartier (USA).

  • Last fall, T100 and World Triathlon announced a partnership that, among other things, would see the two entities work together on an anti-doping program.

  • In January, T100 CEO Sam Renouf mentioned on a podcast that at the inaugural T100 race in Miami, “a very rigorous in-competition and out-of-competition anti-doping program” would be launched.

Tempo’s take: Since the T100’s inception (previously the Professional Triathletes Organization) they have talked a big game about having a “world-class” anti-doping program.

  • Large-scale anti-doping programs probably aren’t the easiest thing to implement, but after last year’s Chartier debacle, it’s frustrating to see T100 not have some kind of basic registered testing pool in place and at the very least for its contracted athletes.

The reality is some athletes are out there doping. And amidst the news of 23 Chinese swimmers testing positive for banned substances before the Tokyo Olympics, with some winning gold, now might be the time for the T100 to reinvest some of its sizeable marketing budget into regular testing of its athletes.

  • Kudos to Pro Tri News for shining a light on this issue 👏👏👏

Do you think doping is widespread in Pro/Age Group races?

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🩸 Iron absorption: Your blood Iron levels are critical to healthy training and your best performances. But proper Iron absorption is anything but simple! Apparently, morning is the best time to take in this critical mineral. [My Sports Science]

💨 Aerodynamic tips: Don’t waste your hard training only to leave minutes on the table during your bike split! These easy and effective aerodynamic tips can help you make up those crucial minutes you need for your next PB. [Freespeed_lab]

🛥️ Successful sculling: Sculling drills are a great way to build awareness of your catch and overall freestyle technique. This video goes through a few key sculling drills and shows how you can incorporate them into your training. One note: in the video the athletes are using a pull buoy, which is fine, but not using it and kicking lightly instead is OK as well! [TriManual]

📈 Trending training: VO2 Max, Zone 2 training, supplement stacks, and morning sunlight. They’re all health fads du jour, but are they actually legit? This podcast breaks them all down. [Plain English]

🥊 Unfinished business: After his category was removed from the Tokyo Paralympics, paratriathlete Mohammed Lahna thought he was done with high-performance sport. But a chance reintroduction for this years Olympics has him back in the game - with serious unfinished business. [USA Triathlon]


Need Another Reason to Train? How About a Longer Life!

Dr. Jeffrey Sankoff is an emergency room physician, triathlete, coach, and host of the TriDoc podcast. He breaks down the latest in multisport science to help keep you educated, healthy, and fast!

Age brings with it a lot of positives; wisdom, maturity of thought and behavior, financial security to many, and the joys of parenthood and grandparenthood. But the aging process also brings with it important health consequences that as active endurance athletes we are always on the lookout for ways to forestall.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the Western world and particularly burdens those who are older. Regular exercise is one of the well-known means by which the risk of CVD can be decreased.

  • A growing body of research suggests that one of the important ways that exercise is protective is by how it affects our blood vessels.

  • People who exercise regularly tend to have blood vessels that are less stiff and therefor offer less resistance to blood flow and this is better for the heart. 

The big question for scientists to this point has been why? What mechanisms are at work that cause these changes?

The Short Answer 👇

Inflammation has important impacts on the blood vessels and over time makes them stiffer. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce overall inflammation and mitigate the impact of inflammation on the blood vessels leading to improved overall cardiovascular health.

Continue reading the article and learn:

  • How inflammation negatively affects blood vessels

  • Why our “baseline” levels of inflammation increase as we age.

  • How exercise can fight back against cardiovascular disease.


Surely the right decision was made 🤣


World Triathlon World Cup - Wollongong, Australia

In the men’s race Luke Willian (AUS) took the win and put his hand up as the favorite to take Australia’s second spot on the Paris Olympic start line. The women’s race came down to an incredible 5-up sprint finish with Tilda Månsson (SWE) taking her third World Cup win at just 19!

IRONMAN South Africa

In the women’s race the pre-race hype was all for multiple IRONMAN World Champion, Daniela Ryf (SUI), but she couldn’t match the power of Marta Sanchez (ESP) who took the emphatic win. The men’s race saw Rasmus Svenningsson (SWE) absolutely dominate on the bike to take the win.

IRONMAN 70.3 Valencia

A preview of post-Olympic plans saw former World Triathlon World Champion Leo Bergere (FRA) take a clinical victory while Laura Madsen (DEN) showed she will be one to watch taking the win in the women’s race.

IRONMAN 70.3 Philippines

In the women’s race Els Visser (NED) showed that her T100 Singapore podium was no fluke as she smashed a strong race in oppressive conditions. Henri Schoeman (RSA) went wire to wire to take his first 70.3 victory.


Incredible racing: Amstel Gold Race, Fleche-Wallone, and IRONMAN South Africa - all in the same week! Take a break Cam Wurf, you’ve earned it!

Triathlon promotion: Kuwait’s Al-Kandari has secured a key role in the Arab Triathlon Federation. [Arab Times Online]

Entries are open: Entries have opened for the triathlon d’Agon-Coutainville. The event will take place on June 16th, 2024. [Saint-lo Maville]

Tri with a twist: Once again athletes with disabilities were able to “have a blast” at the Sunshine Butterflies fifth annual Tri with a twist. [Noosa Today]

Investigation launched: The family of a Canadian man who died after competing in the Galvestion IRONMAN triathlon have launched an independent investigation into the the emergency response. [Yahoo]


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