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Ulrich Fluhme interview highlights

We’ve put a full transcript of the interview with Ulrich Fluhme about PEDs in distance running on the site (it is in Episode 3 if you prefer to listen). The calm and thoughtful way that Ulrich offered a radical plan, combined with his experience implementing such a plan at an amateur cycling event, was impressive. We agree with his call for limited drug testing among competitive amateurs in popular New York Road Runner races and other large road races. Some highlights from the interview:

  • “If I were Mary Wittenberg, I would definitely take the larger races like the Scotland 10k or Coogan’s and test the podium, test a few age-group podiums, two or three random tests, maybe 5-10 tests in competition, and I would also create a list of the top 200 runners from the year before and test them out of competition.”
  • “From knowing running and cycling, the sports are too similar that you shouldn’t think that drugs are not as widespread as they are in cycling. I think we shouldn’t be scared about what could happen, I think we should welcome if more would come out, because right now everybody is just living in denial. Many races are just scared that they have a winner and then a week later they have to say well actually he was on drugs. There is this perception that you don’t want a tainted winner and you don’t want that risk so you’d rather not test. It’s kind of like just looking away. It’s not sustainable, as we’ve seen in cycling.”
  • “Everybody sees some performances, especially from age-group athletes, 40 plus, that are almost impossible. They are freaks of nature, and the number of freaks of nature has definitely grown in the last 10, 15 years. To be honest, seeing this it really disgusts me to see these people get away with it.”
  • “To get to a 2:09, people from East Africa, they don’t have access to drugs. I’ve been to Iten, I’ve trained there (or run there, I wouldn’t call it training) for two weeks, and if you see how a 2:12, 2:13 runner lives there, they have nothing. They don’t have access to drugs. But they get to a race, they run 2:09, and then they get to those training camps and then they have managers and that’s the point that they get access to drugs, and that’s where the next step happens. Those training camps, how they function is not good.”
  • “I really hope that New York Road Runners, Competitor Group, IronMan in triathlon, the organizations that have the money that are stepping up now, will also start testing among amateurs. I think we amateur runners deserve that. We train so hard, we pay those entry fees, we want to race the other guys and we want a fair competition.”

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