Hardly controls, new cases: doping seems to be widespread among amateur triathletes. Who are these amateur dopers? And why they do what they do? For the magazine triathlon in the spring I have a small package researched topics including interview and an essay on the role of the DTU. After the long-distance race in Roth and Frankfurt here are the texts in their entirety. I look forward to discussions. (Suitable to the report , "The doping of the Road" ) When his wife leaves him, Christian Mörlen flees into the sport. Mörlen mutated, from joggers to Lauftreff triathletes. He swims, you can buy a bicycle, the training volume increases up to 20 hours a week. Until the day when he can put the syringe.
Mörlen, whose real name does not matter here neglected, the work that is obsessed with training. "My ambition has in comparison to the past when I've run just relaxed, tenfold," he says. "I've only worked yet, exercising, sleeping." After a few months, he graduated with a nationally known sports scientists their first performance test. The result is mau, debt is probably over-training. In addition to the training plan from the test administrator Mörlen gets a phone number slipped. "He said to me: You did a good job, you have money. If you want to be better off without training, then call here at" On the paper: the number of a drug-dealer.
Mörlen actually goes down - and can sit for 100 € a syringe EPO. From now on he will come once a week, says his dealer. But Mörlen travels, he says, never back down. Instead, he listens to the triathlon. "I was shocked at myself, I was ashamed and no longer recognized himself." Today, he goes back to Sunday's running accuracy, his bike has not touched more Mörlen for months.
The threshold decreases
Questionable whether Mörlen story is typical. It is not even sure if they fully correspond to the truth. One thing is certain: there is doping in amateur triathlons. And the evidence is mounting that it is widespread. Although there are virtually no controls are in Germany alone since 2007, four amateur triathletes tested positive. Thus in recent years significantly more amateurs as professionals have delivered a positive sample.
"With so few checks and go out so many positive cases must be assumed that the rate of dopers is quite high," says Klaus Pöttgen, Chief Medical Officer of the Ironman events in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. "The athletes do not expect to be controlled." And the threshold decreases: from syringe tablet cream.
For the amateurs playing a decisive role. Because triathlon is becoming more popular, more and more common place, many athletes are no longer for themselves or for the mere standing by the distance to the start. "It's about becoming faster," says Pöttgen. "Are therefore prone to make the triathlon for several years. They want to be faster than its neighbor, boss or colleague training. "
Some studies on doping in amateur triathlon is none. How widespread is the illegal aid, can therefore also in the scene, hardly anyone really say. Some believe the majority of doping is due to ignorance and lack of education. For others, at least in a broad range ambitious problem are shocked by the casualness with the doping is obviously very ambitious in the area.
Are relatively hard numbers are available in Germany so far only for visitors of fitness studios. According to various studies, it is believed that doping is more than ten percent of studio visits. A few weeks ago in casting a Hessian drug wholesalers to four years in prison has been sentenced. He acted in more than eight years with doping products, made in the month 15,000 euro net profit. Middlemen were the owners of gyms.
Have been the magazine "Spiegel", according to buyers of these doping agents and marathon runners and triathletes. That their tendency to move the physical limits of artificial, is large, studies show. As at the Bonn University of Erlangen-Marathon 2009 asked the bishop to their analgesic consumption, gave almost two-thirds, before starting ibuprofen, diclofenac or to have swallowed Voltaren. That the numbers are lower in the triathlon, is unlikely.
Organization without a concept
Except for Ironman Challenge events and in Germany there is hardly doping controls in the amateur triathlon. The topic can seem cold, the German Triathlon Union. The search for a contact takes weeks just to please himself then expresses multiple Matthias Zöllner, who recently re-introduced DTU CEO. But he also reveals very little.
The number of controls on amateur triathletes will Zöll also reveal how little the substances tested. Multiple points Zöll instead of the high cost of anti-doping campaign. When asked what do the DTU also against doping in amateur triathlons, he is no concrete answer. Also to its own findings about the prevalence of doping among amateurs at the DTU you want to say anything. The press is responsible. As well as the National Anti-Doping Agency, almost exclusively to the care of sports performance, the problem is simply not discussed. It is the duty of the association.
"We do what we can, but we need the DTU to combat the problem in the width," says Felix Walchshöfer, among other things, organizes the famous long-distance race in Roth. The current situation he finds it strange. "We finally pay taxes, then the association should take care also about the anti-doping fight." Currently does not happen. Pressing issues are not addressed because of the chaotic conditions in the German federation. This affects also the anti-doping fight.
Good contacts, many resources
In contrast to the DTU, Philip Goergen employed for over five years with doping in amateur triathlons. Goergen, a triathlete himself for several years, would, as part of a doctoral thesis has not yet been funded to explore the question of what drives amateurs to doping. He can prove his theories not yet, but he has insight into the scene: "The typical doper is very performance-oriented and dogged. And he has a lot invested in the sport time and to budget. "Since effective doping needs support, especially EPO doping affects those athletes who are ambitious, intelligent and financially well-equipped. And have the best, keep in touch with doctors, pharmacists or nurses.
"Triathletes bring a high level of basic education, have good contacts and a lot of resources - that's Triathlon vulnerable," says Goergen. Particularly at risk are male triathletes, between 25 and 50 years old and with opportunities to Hawaii. Looks like the challenge head Walchshöfer. "I do not want anyone to make something, but it could be that the threshold falls at some point, if an athlete has five or six times the Hawaii qualifier has missed." In women, Goergen has determined the threshold is slightly higher.
In triathlon professionals are regarded as approachable, real person. Amateur athletes can identify more easily with their training and life as in other sports - and do not want to be just as rare.
Triathletes are often more extreme than, for example, marathon runners, the training is harder and more expensive. Since triathlon national sport, it is not enough to end a long distance just. "Because you're in the office so just smiled wearily," says Goergen. "There have been a period of ten hours must."
Gorgen believes that this performance fixation leads eventually to a cost-benefit calculation. Doper expose themselves as intelligent as good as any risk of being caught, the threshold is not high enough for some. Many triathletes identify very strongly with their sport. Even though hardly anyone would admit it, many a time when the next Ironman is secretly probably more important than job and family.
Triathletes often see themselves primarily as athletes, to create their identity through success in competition. Then blur the boundaries among some on the way to Hawaii.