What about the promise of a TUE after testing positive for PEDs?

Bob Weiner

Bob Weiner of the USATF Masters T&F Executive Committee reminds me that I posted a note after 2010 Sacramento outdoor masters nationals about the option to get a post-competition TUE — or therapeutic-use exemption. Elites don’t have this option. But masters do. Here’s what I wrote after attending a USADA briefing: “Post-event TUEs will be allowed. That means if you test positive for a banned substance, you can submit a request for a waiver … after the meet. (That doesn’t guarantee your TUE will be accepted, however. It’s just a convenience for all concerned.)” Now Bob is asking why that option wasn’t used in the Kathy Jager case.

Sez Bob, a former White House Drug Policy spokesman who helped create USADA and WADA:

I am trying to clarify, as a member of the MTF anti-doping committee, whether the [Jager] suspension was for a positive test whose positive result could not be justified regardless of before-or-after competition, and whether the release is wrong (or else badly worded) that an MTF athlete may not obtain a post-competion TUE.

We were briefed by USADA several times in the open briefings before we launched the testing program that MTF athletes, though advised strongly to get pre-competition TUE’s, are not required to do so and may get post-test TUE’s because we are not Olympic-level elite athletes who are required to get pre-competition TUE’s.

Other top MTF officials also remember what I do from the briefings that there is a differentiation in the requirement between elite and MTF athletes — and I asked and clarified the question in asking it myself at the briefings. We were informed in the briefings that MTF and youth athletes fall into a different (non-A) group who can get post-test TUE’s.

The other question is, if this is true, was the athlete … informed that she could in fact get a post-competition TUE? If not, it’s a bit like not having your Miranda rights read. Again, however, if the TUE is a con-job excuse for using a banned substance, then the bust and suspension should hold regardless, whether a TUE request is pre-or post… and it’s USADA’s job to ascertain the veracity.

We just don’t know if all these procedures were followed, or if the person writing the USADA statement knew the difference (or if the person adjudging the specific case knew the difference). We’d really like to know.