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Multi-time Ironman winner tests positive

Spanish pro and former Kona podium winner Virginia Berasategui tested positive for EPO at the Bilbao Triathlon.

Spanish pro triathlete Virginia Berasategui, 37, tested positive for an unknown substance following her May 18th win at the Bilbao Triathlon. Spain’s El Mundo newspaper reported that Berasategui was notified of the result on June 14th.  She has requested the second sample to be tested for counter-analysis. This most recent case has spurned many responses on social media from those outraged that this is Berasategui’s second failed drug test. Following her 2005 win at Ironman Lanzarote, Berasategui  and Iban Rodgriuez, who were both then coached by Iñigo Mujika, tested positive for EPO. The results were dismissed due to questions around the validity of urine analysis as a means of testing for EPO. Both athletes claimed a false positive due to high protein levels.

Berasategui finished 3rd at the Ironman World Championships in 2009 and 4th in 2010. She was 10th in 2011. Last year, Berasategui finished 4th at the 2012 ITU Long Distance World Championships in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

SlowTwitch commenter Joseph Spindler ·posted the following provocative response to the news:

“Clean athletes should show more courage. We should set the organizers of sporting events under pressure. If you find yourself at the starting line with ex-cheaters, then go to the organizers and say: I will not race them. This is not my class. Make two runs, one for us and one for them.”

Pro triathlete Gina Crawford offered the following comment on the Lava Magazine site:

“Do you realise she tested positive at that ironman victory at [I]ronman [L]a[n]zarote in 2005?, but argued her way out of this and was given the victory and a second chance. This makes me so angry that she was given a second chance, had some great results and perhaps was cheating this whole time. I just can’t believe these athletes can live with themselves.”