IRONMAN announce another Age-Group doping positive

A Spanish age-group athlete has been issued with a four-year doping ban for a positive test for clenbuterol at IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella.

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Spanish athlete target-tested (and busted) at IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella

Announced yesterday, IRONMAN confirmed the four-year doping sanction of a Spanish age-group athlete, Juan Antonio Gomez Gonzalez. He was caught through an in-competition test at IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella in April this year, positive for clenbuterol. The full announcement is reproduced below.

An age-group winner at IRONMAN Malaysia in October 2018, he’ll also lose the opportunity to race in Kona this coming October.

Aside from the ‘news’, the most interesting thing for me is the process that lead to this result. The athlete was specifically target-tested, based on information shared between the IRONMAN Anti-Doping Program and the Spanish National Anti-Doping Agency.

IRONMAN typically get criticised externally for perceived lack of testing (despite published evidence of current sanctions), but clearly testing is happening, and not just at World Championship level. I personally also know of several British age-group athletes (Kona podium finishers) who have been randomly tested, out-of-competition in the UK, in the weeks leading up to the IRONMAN World Championship in recent years.

Given the number of athletes involved in the sport, from my perspective, target-testing athletes based upon considered intelligence (whistleblowing) or consistently high performance, has to be the way forward.

Seemingly everyone “knows” age-group doping is going on… but if you do, have you ever done anything about it? Here’s a reminder of how you can pass on that information to UK Anti-Doping.




Gomez Gonzalez serving a four-year sanction

Today, the IRONMAN® Anti-Doping Program announced that Spanish age-group athlete Juan Antonio Gomez Gonzalez accepted a four-year sanction for an anti-doping rule violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance. Gomez Gonzalez’s positive sample was collected in-competition at the 2019 IRONMAN® 70.3® Marbella triathlon.

Gomez Gonzalez’s sample tested positive for clenbuterol, which is in a class of anabolic agents prohibited at all times under IRONMAN Anti-Doping Rules and consistent with the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

All results-management proceedings and sanctions applied under the jurisdiction of the IRONMAN AntiDoping Program are determined in accordance with the WADA Code and the IRONMAN Anti-Doping Rules. In accordance with Article 10 of the WADA Code, Gomez Gonzalez’s period of ineligibility began April 27, 2019, the date of his out-of-competition test. As a result, Gomez Gonzalez has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to April 27, 2019, including results from 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella. He had been previously provisionally suspended and will remain ineligible to participate in any IRONMAN® or IRONMAN® 70.3® competition or any other event organized by any WADA Code Signatory for the four-year period of ineligibility.

“This case is the result of information sharing between the IRONMAN Anti-Doping Program and the Spanish National Anti-Doping Agency, Agencia Española de Protección de la Salud en el Deporte (AEPSAD),” said Kate Mittelstadt, Director of the IRONMAN Anti-Doping Program. “When we can share information and coordinate efforts within the anti-doping community, our collective ability to target our testing and detect doping is significantly increased. This result is proof of that, and we thank AEPSAD for their collaboration.”

To learn more about the IRONMAN Anti-Doping program, including the WADA Prohibited List and the risks associated with supplement use, visit

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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