Triathlon: Ex-World No. 1 Fretta gets 4-yr doping ban

Posted at 11/10/2012 9:03 AM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - Former Triathlon World No. 1 Mark Fretta has been given a four-year doping ban after variations in his blood profile indicated EPO, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday.

Fretta, 35, had been atop the International Triathlon Union rankings in 2006 but he has forfeited all results since August 18, 2010, including 15 races on the ITU level as well as a triumph in the 2010 Chicago Triathlon.

The athlete had been part of the US Triathlon 2012 elite program and his disqualification dates to the day USADA collected its first blood sample from him used in its longitudinal blood profile.

Variations in that profile and other documentary evidence indicated Fretta had taken the banned performance-enhancing stimulant EPO.

His four-year ban began on June 11, 2012.

Among the ITU results he forfeited were a fourth in April 2011 at Lima, a fifth as part of the team relay in August 2011 at Lausanne and his two most recent events, an 11th at Bridgetown last February and 53rd at the ITU World Triathlon in San Diego last May.

USADA takes long-term blood data collections to identify biological changes that can indicate doping, measuring such things as hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit and percentage reticulocytes to establish a blood profile.

Variations can indicate doping and result in violations under World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

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