The Doper Next Door here on Thursday at Bicycle Sport Shop

By Leah – November 4, 2011

In AFM’s September issue, we talked about the slippery world of performance-enhancing substances in sports (you can revisit that article here).

Here in Austin, so many people deal with season allergies that it’s easy to run into steroid use that could technically qualify as improper.  Was I doping last January when I had my massive corticosteroid shot prior to my 100K?  I’d simply gone to the quick clinic while out of town, feeling miserably sick and thinking I had a massive sinus infection, hoping the doctor would give me drugs or cut my head off, whichever would feel better.  The shot I got fixed me right up and protected me over the next 2-3 weeks, providing me with additional coverage as I ran about the pollen-laden cedar trees and dusty trails at the state natural area in Bandera.  It was my general practitioner who filled me in on the exact nature of what drug I’d been given and my research on drug testing that made me wonder about the implications.  Ignorance is no excuse for doping, but I could see how it could be a confusing world for amateur athletes.

Some, however, willingly choose to opt for better performance through chemistry, and one athlete who did so chose to write a book about his experiences.  Andrew Tilin, who recently moved to Austin, was featured in Austin American-Stateman writer Pam LeBlanc’s “Fit City” article this September, and his story is interesting.  According to LeBlanc, Tilin wanted to see what happened when an ordinary guy took testosterone to improve his cycling performance (initially, he’d hoped to find someone else act to as his lab rat but wound up conducting the experiment on himself when no one stepped forward to volunteer).  While Tilin legally obtained the drugs he needed, he clearly violated USA Cycling rules by racing under their influence, and he was even fined by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after his book’s publication for those races where he competed while using testosterone.

The Doper Next Door: My Strange and Scandalous Year on Performance-Enhancing Drugs is the name of Tilin’s book, and he’ll be answering questions and signing copies from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, at the Bicycle Sport Shop located at 517 South Lamar.  It will be interesting to see if he gets support for his experiment or condemnation for his crime from the cycling community members who attend.

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