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Collin Chartier says he believes the “top guys are doping”

But also says that he believes that the athletes he was trying to emulate at the top of the sport "are clean"

Photo by: PTO/ Collin Chartier Instagram

In an interview on the How They Train podcast, American Collin Chartier said that he felt he “couldn’t reach the expectations I felt for this year without turning to EPO.”

“I really wanted to win this year and beat the best,” Chartier said. “At the end of the day, I don’t believe they’re clean and if I’m going to try to win, there’s no amount of self-belief I can have in myself if I believe the top guys are doping. I think it’s sad that I came to this decision. I have no evidence that the top guys are, it’s just the belief I had and what led me to dope.”

Ironman Mont-Tremblant and PTO US Open champion suspended three years for positive EPO test

Chartier reiterated what he had said in a statement earlier today that he didn’t start doping until November, 2022. He said that he ordered EPO online on Nov. 16.

“That’s a decision I really regret today,” he said. “Mentally I was not in a good place, coming off the back of my disappointment in Kona. I took it really personally. I felt I let down the people who supported me. At the same time, I felt I had to prove myself and beat the best people in the world.

“Those performances were clean,” Chartier said when asked if he would return the prize money from his wins at Ironman Mont-Tremblant and the PTO US Open last year. “I know that it will be difficult for people to believe me.”

Decision he made by himself

Chartier said that no one helped or encouraged him to take the drug, and felt badly about the position he’s put Lionel Sanders (and his wife, Erin) in because of today’s news.

“I don’t want to implicate them in any way,” he said, referring to the time he spent with the Canadians as the “only time I was remotely happy. It’s not a surprise to me that I had my best performances because I was in a happy place.”

“This was a decision I made by myself,” he said. “I learned how to do this myself – obviously not successfully. The last thing I want to do is bring down the people who have supported me the most and that’s Mikal, my coach, I don’t want to bring down any of the Norwegians. I was working closely with the team … but they had nothing to do with the doping I did.”

“I have to believe that these guys are clean and I do believe that,” he said.

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

ITA investigation

During the interview Chartier said that the International Testing Agency (ITA), the organization that does drug testing for Ironman, did a “thorough investigation into whether or not this was a bigger doping ring in the sport because they’re really interested in seeing if this is an endemic problem in the sport.”

According to Chartier, the ITA “concluded that I was acting alone.”

(We’ve reached out to Ironman to follow up on that investigation and will post more as information becomes available. It seems odd that an investigation would take place and Chartier’s coach and training partner wouldn’t have been interviewed – both Lionel Sanders and Mikal Iden have said that they only learned about the case today.)

Won’t return to triathlon

“I became incredibly unhappy with where I was in the sport,” Chartier said, citing his attempt to train like Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden. “I tried to emulate the Norwegian process – the long boring sessions, the same lifestyle … the more I did this, the unhappier I became. I have no desire to return because the sacrifices I’ve taken, I don’t believe it’s worth it.”

Chartier has said that he’ll be returning any sponsorship money he’s received for this year. “I hope that they can put this towards another athlete,” he said.