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Scott Moninger’s statement regarding his positive drug test

Scott Moninger's e-mailed statementNov 19, 2002Dear friends, family and fellow cyclists,On or around the 22nd of November, certain information regarding myselfwill become public. It will not be good news but I thought that hearingmy side of the story first, might lessen the shock a little when you doread this, or hear about it in a few days. Some of what you will read inthe media and hear on the streets will be accurate, and some of it willnot. I can assure you however, that everything written here in this e-mailis 100 percent fact.In early July I began preparing for one of the biggest

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Scott Moninger’s e-mailed statement
Nov 19, 2002Dear friends, family and fellow cyclists,On or around the 22nd of November, certain information regarding myselfwill become public. It will not be good news but I thought that hearingmy side of the story first, might lessen the shock a little when you doread this, or hear about it in a few days. Some of what you will read inthe media and hear on the streets will be accurate, and some of it willnot. I can assure you however, that everything written here in this e-mailis 100 percent fact.In early July I began preparing for one of the biggest one-day eventsthat I compete in each yr, The Saturn Cycling Classic. This is a 150-milerace that begins in Boulder, Colorado. and finishes in Breckenridge, Colorado.The winner receives a Saturn SUV car. I won the inaugural event in 2000and have been considered one of the pre-race favorites every since. Inthe weeks leading up to the event, I was putting in countless five- toseven-hour training rides in the high mountain near where I live, to getready for the challenge. Such hard training has to be followed up withgood recovery otherwise the gains are not fully achieved. Recovery is apretty wide spectrum: Things like massage, sleep, the right foods/drinks,as well as vitamin supplements are all very important. Multi vitamins,minerals, iron, protein powders, and amino acids have always been a partof my daily training/recovery regime.About one month prior to the event I ran out of an amino acid supplementthat I had been taking. I went to the Vitamin Cottage, which is healthfood/vitamin store, to purchase more. This store is a chain of reputable,organic food/vitamin stores that has been in business for over 50 years,located throughout Colorado and Washington State. I’ve always felt confidentabout their products as they have an excellent reputation. This day, theywere out of the amino acid brand that I normally buy so I looked aroundand found one that had all the similar numbers and amount’s, I purchasedit and was on my way.Race day came and went: My teammate Chris Wherry had an excellent dayand won the event. I finished third. I was very content with my resultand very happy for Chris. Immediately after the race, I went to medicalcontrol(“drug control”) to give a urine sample, which is standard for arace of this caliber and was certainly no surprise as it was listing inthe race program weeks prior to the event, that the top-three finishersplus a few “randoms” would be required to be tested, post-race.About three weeks later I was informed that my “A” sample of urine tested,at that event, showed traces of a banned substance called “19-Norandrosterone.”When I first heard this I thought, “this is not possible, there’s beena mix-up or something.” I do not take or have ever taken 19-norandrosterone,nor have I ever taken a banned substance of any kind in my 21-year career.In general, drug tests don’t lie so after further research and havingthe test results checked out by a number of different sources, it becamequite clear that the positive drug test was likely caused by a contaminated/taintedsupplement which contained this particular banned substance.The amounts that appeared in my sample were consistent with those ofa contaminated supplement, and not from someone who was purposely takingthe substance as a performance enhancer. Most likely, there was not enoughto actually give me any benefit at all but enough to throw up a flag onthe test.For my own peace of mind, I needed to know for sure how this stuff gotinto my system. I took what remained of this particular amino acid supplement,along with a few others and shipped them off to a lab to be tested forcontamination. This is a very expensive procedure and one that uses a majorityof the contents so having this done prior to taking it, is just not feasible.I’ve now learned that apparently, contamination is quite common in aminoacid supplements, which are often produced in the same factories or evenwith the same machinery as the supplements which are known to be banned.The banned stuff is apparently bought by those who are either not testedin their competitions or are not concerned with destroying their bodies.In my 21-year career I have been tested literally hundreds of timesaround the world, both in and out of competition and always with the sameresults: Negative. I have always had the reputation as a “clean” riderand as someone who has nothing to hide. All of this is particularly difficultfor me because I’ve always been against drugs in cycling and I’ve voicedmy opinion numerous times on the topic.

When I’m asked why I don’t race more in Europe, it’s because I don’tdo drugs and I don’t want to be forced to do drugs. I don’t like cheatersand I don’t have any respect for an athlete who thinks they have to takedrugs to win. I did not get into this sport to destroy my body. Anyonewho’s ever competed with or against me knows how strongly I feel aboutthe subject of drugs in sports and they know how much I value my own healthand well-being.The lab results confirmed what I had suspected. Each 500mg.capsule ofthe legal amino acid supplement (L-Tyrosine) was contaminated with an averageof 28mg. of 19-norandrosterone. This is more than a slight contaminationbut rather a gross one.I now had the peace of mind that I was searching for but unfortunately,the drug testing agency does not consider a contaminated supplement asa valid excuse for a positive test. An athlete could knowingly take a contaminatedsupplement and then always have that as an “out” or defense. To the drugtesting agency it’s very black and white: A positive is a positive regardlessof how it came about, knowingly, or unknowingly.With intent, or without intent, the penalties are the same. They areaware of the growing problem of contaminated or mis-marked legal supplementsbut are unwilling to make any allowances in the matter.For a first offender, like myself, the maximum sanction for a 19-norandrosteronepositive test is a two-year suspension. With the help of my lawyer, weare fighting this with everything we have. We did not accept the initialsanction of two years and have requested a hearing, which is allowed bythe drug testing agency. We will plead our case as best we can but thetesting agency is not in the business of leniency. They are in the businessof prosecuting what they feel to be guilty athletes. At this point thereis zero chance of this going away completely and probably the best casescenario is a reduced sentence of 6 months. This will happen only withthe help and recommendation of USA cycling and the UCI, which are bothcompletely separate from the drug testing agency.What the future holds: After first learning of my positive test, I returnedto the same store and purchased every bottle they had of this L-Tyrosineamino acid. In all I found four that had the same lot and serial numbersas my original bottle. These are still completely sealed and unopened.They will be invaluable as I/we plan to take legal action against the manufacturer,the supplier, and the retailer of this contaminated product.Prior to all of this, I had planned to compete for 1-2 more years. (Yes,I know I’ve been saying that for the last ten years but I really don’tplan to be a professional cyclist when I’m 40!) My team is being slightly”downsized” at the moment, but I had a spot on its roster for the 2003season. The management of the team has been very understanding and supportiveof my situation and will continue to stand behind me in hopes that thingsproceed in a favorable direction for me.I apologize for the delay in making this announcement to all of youbut I know how rumors can spread in cycling especially when this is thesubject matter. I’ve also waited as long as possible in making this announcementin hopes of having all the answers to the questions I will be asked.Unfortunately, that is still not the case as the hearing with the testingagency has not yet happened nor do I know yet, what sort of sanction, ifany, the UCI has decided on.Thank you for reading and at the risk of seeming presumptuous, I thankyou all, in advance for your support.Scott Moninger(PS. feel free to forward this e-mail on to anyone who you think wouldbe interested in reading it)