American triathlete Mark Fretta, 35, tested positive for EPO. In short order
USA Triathlon removed his bio from USATriathlon.org, and Fretta appears to have
shut down his personal Twitter account. Fretta’s best ITU finish was 3rd at a
Korean World Cup event in 2003, and this year he finished 53rd at the US Olympic
Trials at ITU World Cup San Diego. The USADA announcement is below:
USADA announced that triathlete Mark Fretta has committed an anti-doping
rule violation and received a sanction for his doping offense.
Fretta, 35, received a four-year period of ineligibility after variations in
his individual longitudinal blood profile as well as other documentary
evidence indicated the use of Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents such as
Erythropoietin (“EPO”). Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents are prohibited in the
class of Peptide Hormones which are prohibited under the USADA Protocol for
Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Triathlon Union
Anti-Doping Rules, both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code
(“Code”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) Prohibited List.
USADA conducts longitudinal blood data collection and comprehensive
scientific review to identify changes in biological parameters that may be
of doping. The program consists of collecting athlete samples to measure an
athlete’s unique biological parameters, including, but not limited to,
hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, and percentage reticulocytes, over
time to establish an individual longitudinal blood profile. Variations and
fluctuations in these measurements when compared to an athlete’s own
established longitudinal blood profile can be indicative of prohibited,
performance-enhancing drug use, and can result in an anti-doping rule
violation under the Code.
Fretta’s four-year period of ineligibility began on June 11, 2012, the date
he accepted a provisional suspension. As a result of the violation, Fretta has
been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to
August 18, 2010, the date USADA collected the first blood sample that was
included in Fretta’s individual longitudinal blood profile.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for
athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated
preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and