Carl Grove took home a gold medal for a sprint cycling race at the U.S. Masters Track National Championship, but now the 90-year-old will have to return it after testing positive for a performance enhancing-drug.
As BBC Sport reported, Grove had previously tested positive for epitrenbolone, an anabolic steroid classified as a performance-enhancing drug. The test prompted the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to strip him of the title.
Afterward, the USADA released a statement saying that the positive test showed that he had taken the steroid before the competition last summer.
“Grove, 90, tested positive for epitrenbolone, which is a metabolite of the prohibited substance trenbolone, as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on July 11, 2018 after setting a world record at the Masters Track National Championships. While investigating the source of his positive test, it was also determined that a supplement Grove was using prior to July 11, 2018 was contaminated with clomiphene.”
The USADA had raised eyebrows back in July after issuing a warning against Grove, though did not reveal any more details. Grove had competed in the 90 to 94 age range, taking home the gold medal in the event that took place just before the warning.
The 90-year-old cyclist claimed that he had consumed contaminated meat that caused him to test positive for the steroid, but the USADA claimed that he provided samples of the supplements he had used and none contained any prohibited substances.
The positive drug test generated quite a bit of interest online, with many media outlets across the globe picking up the story and sharing it on social media.
Some noted that the incident was more serious than some had realized, hinting at more widespread performance drug use at amateur levels.
“The sheer absurdity of a 90-year-old testing positive will amuse some,” the Telegraph noted in its report. “But it is sure to alarm others, providing further evidence of a potentially serious problem within the amateur levels of the sport where testing is far less stringent.”
The report noted that doping takes place at all levels of amateur athletics, adding that 18-year-old cycling champion Gabriel Evans admitted to taking blood booster EPO after watching a BBC documentary about how widespread its use had been. On the same day that the positive test for Evans was announced, the U.K. Anti-Doping agency also announced a four-year ban for British Masters champion Andrew Hastings, who competes in the 35-39 year age group.