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Canadian pro asks “Is Triathlon a Clean Sport?”

Chartier case "just the tip of the iceberg of the people who are doping"

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

The triathlon world was rocked with last week’s news that American Collin Chartier had tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO), with many of the sport’s top athletes coming out with strong statements about the case. Even the New York Times took notice of the uproar about Chartier’s case, posting a story today highlighting how the positive test “Jolts the Sport, Creating a Soap Opera.

Canadian pro Jackson Laundry has posted a video with his thoughts about Chartier’s case and highlighted what he believes are the problems with the current drug testing system, and posting some suggestions on how he believes the system could be improved.

8-time Ironman champ demands “whole truth” from Collin Chartier

Incentive to expose dopers

While Jackson applauds the efforts of Ironman in terms of athlete testing – he believes that the approximately 10 random tests he’s had in the last three years have been funded by Ironman – there’s an inherent problem when the “people paying for the testing are the ones who have the most to lose if people are caught.

“We need to change the system [so] there’s incentive to catch people,” Laundry says. “How can we actually catch these people, rather than catching one every few years, at best. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the people who are doping.”

While Ironman has invested in drug testing, Laundry believes that a lot more money must be put into the process – doing more tests, especially throughout the day and night in order to catch more offenders.

According to Laundry, athletes are not tested between 11 pm and 6 am. His concern is that athletes taking micro-doses of EPO might be able to take a dose shortly after that 11 pm window, and not test positive seven hours later.

Jackson Laundry wins Ironman 70.3 Oceanside in 2022. Photo: Donald Miralle/ Ironman

Increased penalties

Laundry would like to see both lifetime bans for athletes who test positive, but also rules that would require them to repay prize money retroactively after a positive test. He’s also like to see a system developed “to compensate people who bring information about dopers.”

Pros speak out on the harms of doping

Positive effects

“If there’s anything positive about this, there’s a light that’s been shone on doping in triathlon,” Laundry continues.

“I honestly still believe that clean athletes still can win,” he says. “You just need to always be learning about your training and yourself. Don’t lose hope, you can still beat those guys who are doping.”