Depressingly Sad.

Todd Hickman, of Byhalia, Mississippi, tested positive for stanozolol and methylphenidate at the Louisiana-Mississippi (LAMBRA) Age-Graded Road Championships, held September 6 in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Hickman, 49, won the 66-mile championship race out of a field of 10 riders in the 40+ age group. He has accepted a four-year ban for the doping offense.


Let's look at that for a second. Let's let it sink in.
 
My faithful Micronesian readers are well aware that I find guys willing to take these sorts of prohibited substances for performance enhancement to be pitiful. Guys like Meeker or Anthony or any number of other amateur dopers are just depressing, yet they're out there actively racing and all too often flying under the radar, stealing whatever faint glory there is in racing other old people on state-of-the-art kid's toys. It's just how things are, and I doubt USAC's push to make Cat 1s pay for increased testing is going to make much of an impact.
 
Maybe that's pessimistic.
 
I don't see how I can avoid it, because Todd Hickman doped to win a two-state championship, besting a grand total of nine other riders to take the title. Those two states boast a combined population of over 7.5 million people, but only 10 people showed for the Masters 45+ race.
 
That's beyond sad.
 
To put that in perspective, Alaska has a population of less than 750 thousand, roughly 1/10th the population of those two states. We don't have an official state road championship, but our largest event (Tour of Anchorage stage race) had a larger Masters 45+ field, and all but one of them came from the same city.
 
Our local sanctioning body is worried about participation dropping because of a few bodies here or there, and to be honest, it's a valid concern. When you don't have a huge pool, a few riders can make all the difference in the world.
 
Can you imagine the sleep the USAC Local Association is losing right about now?
 
Maybe that's USAC's plan to eradicate doping in amateur cycling. 
 
No racers, no dopers.
 
Problem solved.

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