Twisted Spoke

My twisted take on the world of pro bike racing.

Tom Zirbel’s B sample positive for DHEA. A + B = bad news.

with 4 comments

Labels don't mean, well, much.

You do not want to be in Tom Zirbel’s cycling shoes today.

On his blog, Zirbel announced his B-sample came back from the WADA accredited lab at the University of Utah testing positive for the banned steroid DHEA. Positive A plus positive B equals a two year non-cycling vacation.

“As expected (though hope plays funny games with your mind), the ‘B’ sample of my urine has come back confirming the presence of an exogenous anabolic in my system from the Aug. 29, 2009 test,” wrote Zirbel.

“I expect USADA to come back with a two-year sanction any day now but I’m tired of waiting for them so I decided to let everyone know what’s going on.”

The 31 year old Zirbel is expected to mount a defense based on supplement contamination. The former Bissel and almost-Garmin rider insists he did not knowingly take a banned substance.

Zibel was poised for a major career boost after a fourth overall behind David Zabriskie in the Tour of Missouri and another fourth in the time trial at the world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Again, you wouldn’t want to be in his cycling shoes because proving contamination means  plenty of research and legwork. It’s needle in a haystack, find the taint in the supplement.

“There will probably be a hearing in a few months where I will proclaim my innocence,” he wrote. “We all know the drill! How many times have we been through this with this sport? I even secured one of those lawyer fellas to help me through this. We are still attempting to figure out how this happened and I’m optimistic that we’ll have an answer in time for the hearing.”

That lawyer fella better be damn smart — smarter than the legal consul for Tyler Hamilton and Kenny Williams — two other American riders nailed for the steroid DHEA. It’s going to be a long, hard, expensive slog with little chance of vindication.

While awaiting his B-sample results, Zibel had written,  “Life is too full of OTHER cool and exciting things that I can dive into head first,” said Zirbel. “It’s also far too short to dwell in the past and be miserable.”

We hope that’s true, and maybe that high school science teacher job he talked about is available. Unfortunately, Twisted Spoke keeps thinking about the words of Joe Papp, himself a rider whose career ended after a doping violation. Joe summed it up this way: “his world is going to implode.”

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Written by walshworld

January 30, 2010 at 11:32 am

4 Responses

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  1. Matt, I hope you follow the Zirbel case through to its inevitable conclusion and beyond. I anxiously await Zirbel’s attempts to live a “real-life” after his cycling career ends prematurely thanks to DHEA.

    Joe Papp

    January 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    • Inevitable conclusion? You don’t know what the conclusion will be, and you don’t know if Tom’s career is ending either. You certainly don’t know Tom. Stick to what you DO know–your own doping case.

      Delilahdriver

      January 31, 2010 at 3:16 pm

      • Hi Delilahdriver, I knew another Zirbel post guaranteed me another harangue from your corner of the blogosphere. Have you no appreciation for the incredible marketing gift I gave you? A name like Zealots for Zirbel will galvanize the troops and raise oodles of cash to clear Tom’s name. Marketing is my business, sugar. Get yourself organized and stop wasting time firing off angry comments at everyone with a difference of opinion.

        walshworld

        February 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm

  2. Mr. Walsh, I knew you’d remember me. And you’re swell to give me all the free marketing advice. Who knew? Do you consider it a waste of your time to respond to me? I hope not. see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya

    Delilahdriver

    February 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm


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