The Buzz | Cyclist-MTF Trainer Gets 12 Month USADA Doping Suspension

The tie between motocross and cycling has never been closer, and it seems we’re starting to see both the good and bad influences from the other two-wheeled sport. It’s no secret cycling has been haunted by doping issues for decades, but the fevered pursuit of agencies USADA and WADA have proven effective against even the most accomplished riders in the peloton. Over the last few years, we’ve heard more rumblings of performance-enhancing drug use in motocross and the influx of trainers with cycling backgrounds has only added further speculation on the possibility of the same shady practices trickling over. The promoters and ruling bodies of FIM Monster Energy Supercross, FIM World Motocross, and AMA Pro Racing Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships have taken the first steps at curbing what some state is an ongoing issue by mandating riders adhere to WADA (any FIM professional event) and USADA (Lucas Oil Pro Motocross) testing and protocols.

Last week USADA announced the twelve-month suspension from competition to Jonathan Carter Luck, a cyclist for Lees-McRae College of North Carolina, for his non-analytical anti-doping rule violation. While this may sound unimportant at first, the story takes a turn once you read more. According to the USADA statement, “Luck voluntarily disclosed information and provided physical evidence to USADA that initiated what is now an ongoing investigation into other potential anti-doping cases and has been cooperative and truthful with both USADA and law enforcement agencies as the investigation has unfolded.” Luck was never tested by USADA, but admitted to doping in the summer of 2013 and shared information about other athletes.

Luck released a statement through Lees-McRae College website, lmcbobcats.com, and explained why a promising athlete would tarnish his career. It reads, ” I am ashamed of my actions and will forever regret my poor choice. It is important to note that Lees-McRae College had absolutely no knowledge of my doping. In addition, no Lees-McRae athletes were in any way involved in my doping. I came forward, having never been tested by USADA, to shed light on a growing issue of doping in the sport of Motocross and Supercross. I hope that by my forthcoming we can help make sure this is not an issue for future athletes.”

Luck is not just a random former racer turned cyclist. He spent years of his amateur motocross career at the Millsaps Training Facility in Georgia and is currently listed on the famed compound’s site as a fitness trainer . His biography on the LMC site recalls his early life as a motocross rider before injuries forced him to stop. “I grew up racing motocross and trained at the Millsaps Training Facility in Cairo, GA. Now I race bicycles for Lees McRae and MTF Cycling Team. Raced AM Motocross Nationals for 9 years and trained at MTF. I was hurt in 2010 and a head injury ended my MX racing. I started riding road bikes in 2011 and MTB when I came to MTF in the fall. I hope to do work in the men MTB races for LMC. I also plan to do a lot of #armswagg. I just try and have fun on bikes…its all I know, and what I'm good at!”

After reading both full statements from USADA and Luck via the Lees-McRae College release, it is apparent there is an ongoing investigation regarding performance enhancing drugs and motocross. We will follow this developing story

USADA Statement | US Cycling Athlete, Luck, Accepts Sanction for Non-Analytical Anti-Doping Rule Violation

May 13, 2015 – USADA announced today that Jonathan (Carter) Luck of Harrisburg, Pa., an athlete in the sport of cycling, has accepted a 12-month sanction for his non-analytical anti-doping rule violation. Luck voluntarily disclosed information and provided physical evidence to USADA that initiated what is now an ongoing investigation into other potential anti-doping cases and has been cooperative and truthful with both USADA and law enforcement agencies as the investigation has unfolded.

Luck, 24, was sanctioned for his use, attempted use and possession of human growth hormone ("hGH"), a Prohibited Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors and Related Substances, and testosterone, a Prohibited Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents. Both substances are prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Cycling Union ("UCI") Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code ("Code") and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. Due to Luck's voluntary admission of his anti-doping rule violations and full and truthful cooperation with USADA officials since the start of its investigation, he is eligible for a reduced sanction as allowed by the Code.

Luck's period of ineligibility began on January 22, 2015, the date he admitted his anti-doping rule violations to USADA. In addition, Luck has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 5, 2013, the approximate date from which he admitted to first receiving hGH and testosterone, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.

Lees-McRae College Statement | Carter Luck Accepts Doping Sanctions

Lees-McRae College is disappointed to learn of the USADA sanction against student-athlete, Carter Luck, for his use, attempted use, and possession of banned performance enhancing drugs. Luck cooperated fully with the USADA officials throughout the investigation, voluntarily disclosing information and providing physical evidence as needed.

"It is with great regret and sadness to have to address my sanction during this difficult time for my family. I have fully accepted the USADA sanction for the use of performance enhancing drugs for six weeks beginning August 1st to September 28th 2013.  I am ashamed of my actions and will forever regret my poor choice. It is important to note that Lees-McRae College had absolutely no knowledge of my doping. In addition, no Lees-McRae athletes were in any way involved in my doping. I came forward, having never been tested by USADA, to shed light on a growing issue of doping in the sport of Motocross and Supercross. I hope that by my forthcoming we can help make sure this is not an issue for future athletes," Luck stated after learning of his sanction.

Lees-McRae's internal investigation has concluded that this was an isolated incident and does not indicate a problem within the College's cycling program.  The Lees-McRae Cycling Team coaches are committed to promoting clean competition.  This sanction is an opportunity for our College to educate athletes on the dangers associated with the use of performance enhancing drugs while emphasizing the importance of taking responsibility for one's actions.

For further information regarding this sanction or the Lees-McRae College cycling program, please contact Coach Timothy Hall at hallt@lmc.edu.

– LMC –