Martin Maes Faces 90 Day Doping Ban – From A Race Doctor’s Prescription

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In a shocking bit of slightly bizarre news, Martin Maes has just announced that he’s accepted a 90 day competition ban from the UCI’s anti-doping committee despite it being for a non-performance-enhancing antibiotic booster administered for an injury by a race doctor at a race in New Zealand this spring.

However, rules is rules and Martin has accepted the ban, vowing to come back keener and stronger once he has served his competition ban. In a statement on the GT Bicycles website (link below the picture), in addition to saying that all of his sponsors stand by him, GT has said:

“The UCI complies with a set of strict rules and regulations, but also fully acknowledged the circumstances and that this was not a deliberate violation of any antidoping rules. As a result, Martin will be prohibited from racing for a period of ninety days.  He will be disqualified from rounds 1 and 2 of the EWS and will be required to pay a fine of 2,500CHF. However, his win and results from EWS Madeira will not be affected as he returned a negative test result after going through doping controls at this event. “

Judging by the comments on his Instagram page, the racing world, and its fans are standing behind the rider and all hope to see him back better than ever after this setback.

The full statement from GT Bicycles can be found here:

More news as we get it.


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (9)

    Is it just me that thinks this seems a bit bonkers. Through no one’s fault he go some meds that can mask performance enhancing meds whilst at a UCI sanctioned event. Quite like the Dr’s letter. Maybe the UCI should be providing a list of banned substances to all medical staff or define a specific formulary they can prescribe off. Although the Dr would have reasonably given him the same drugs given the same situation.

    I think that’s the problem – many of the banned drugs aren’t performance enhancing on their own, but they’re either masks for other things or part of a cocktail. And, as they say, they’re dealing with volunteer (but qualified) medical staff who might not have the whole rulebook committed to memory.

    Given the consequences of a ban on a season and possibly career let’s hope EWS take a more professional approach in future and properly brief volunteer medics and provide them with the necessary WADA information. Seems more cock-up on the part of the EWS than conspiracy by Maes.

    Sorry EWS, was at NZ Enduro, its them what needs to brief their Drs!

    Whilst I feel sorry for Martin and believe his account it’s his responsibility to check. It’s very easy to check. 30 seconds with a search engine will tell you.

    I love the fact that following news story on the page is titled “Get higher faster…”

    Seems like a significant cockup by the doctors. They didn’t consider it banned because they didn’t judge it to be performance enhancing. That’s not how it works- it’s not an individual practitioners judgement, there is a list. Which you can print.

    The doctors did point out the action of the drug is to suppress excretion of the antibiotics via the kidneys. Which would be a useful thing to do if you didn’t want something else to show up in a urine test!

    They also claim there was no cellular data over the course of the event. Seems odd that such a big event was entirely off grid for 3 days, including wherever any accommodation was. There is no mention in the text of when the declined TUE was submitted. At the very latest it should have been when they got back on a signal.

    No suggestion there was any deliberate cover up, but very slack practice by all involved.

    When you are minutes away from losing a leg, you or a doc is probably not 100% focussing on anything else but that and the prevention of it. No doubt things could have been done better. However, i’d still prefer to have two working legs, especially if I was a pro.

    I could imagine a lot of riders in same position saying F*you I am taking this all the way court of sports arbitration- I think he has been very gracious given it was their doctor who messed but he gets punished

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