90-year-old cyclist stripped of title after failing anti-doping test

Carl Grove
Carl Grove

Ninety-year-old cyclist Carl Grove was the lone competitor in his age group at last year's US Masters Track Championships.

The veteran set an age-group world record in the individual 2000m pursuit with a time of 3:06.129.

Unfortunately Grove has since tested positive for the banned steroid epitrenbolone in a drug test administered after the race.

The USADA released a statement saying that while growth came up positive for the banned substance, they believe the test was the result of contaminants in a legal supplement he was taking.

But during its investigation, the US Anti-Doping Authority discovered he had also taken supplements that included another banned substance, clomiphene.

The US Anti-Doping Authorities gave Grove a public warning, stripped him of his pursuit crown and record, but allowed him to keep the sprint and time trial titles won earlier at the event.

Grove was still unhappy however, he told the AP: "Us old guys are kind of like peanuts, I think that they're wasting their time.

"What can I gain at 90 years old, doing drugs? Tell me, I just don't know.

"I think that somewhere there ought to be a cut-off and they ought to zero in on the stuff that is done for money reasons or whatever it may be. After 65 or 70, you know, they ought to just give up."

Grove, who used to be a saxophonist in the US Navy, has longevity is in his family - his mother and father lived to 105 and 97 respectively.

"I was really kind of down for a while, but I'm over it," he added. "I wanted to be an inspiration, if possible - I worked like a real horse to do it.

"The thing that I really, really care about is that I wanted to be a sterling, totally clean person in front of people that knew about me.

"It looked like I had not been an honest person to a lot of people."

Grove, who will turn 91 on 13 July, is now targetting the world record for the distance ridden in an hour in the 90-95 age bracket. The current record was set in 2017 by France's Rene Gaillard, who covered 29.278km (18 miles).

Grove told the Guardian: "Sometimes, I ride in the morning and it's a beautiful sunrise. I'm alive. I'm looking. I'm looking around. I'm feeling good. I'm so happy," he said. "I've got so many gold medals and ribbons and stuff, and that doesn't count. What counts is getting out there and doing the best I can do and show people what they can do."

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