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Banned age-group triathlete now competing under maiden name in ultra running

The Ironman age-group champion will compete under her maiden name in this weekend's Old Pueblo 50-mile ultramrathon after accepting a doping ban from triathlon.

Credit: Price Chambers

Last month, Ironman age-group champion Holly Balogh made headlines in triathlon media when it was revealed she accepted a four-year doping ban after testing positive for an exogenous substance. Balogh was a multi-time Kona qualifier and Ironman All World Athlete and tested positive in May of 2016 after she won the women’s 45 to 49 age-group at Ironman Texas.

According to 22o Triathlon, Balogh is entered under her maiden name (Hancock) for an ultra marathon — this weekend’s Old Pueblo, a 50-mile race in Sonoita, Arizona, which is not thought to be governed by World Anti-Doping Association rules.

Balogh, who trains under renowned U.K. coach Matt Dixon, did not apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption for the exogenous substance she tested positive for.

“I’m afraid I’m not able to discuss any particular athlete or situation,” he responded with approached for comment after her doping ban was revealed in February. “With this said, I will tell you that (we have) a very clear policy on any use of PED, as well as what we would see as potential ‘abuse’ of TUE with the aim of gaining a performance advantage. We make it clear to each athlete, beginning with a set of commitments with our professional team, as well as information and education to all the amateurs who utilise our coaching services. We include ongoing education, including a specifically crafted packet to guide athletes with education of PED abuse, our expectations, as well as resources to help them navigate and enjoy the sport with good faith and ethics.”

When asked by 220 Triathlon reporter Tim Heming via Twitter whether she thought it “was morally right to race in an ultra event while serving a doping suspension,” Balogh replied: “Interesting times right now, I will begin anew now, today, despite the insanity around me.”