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Lionel Sanders shares the best way to deal with dopers in the sport as a professional athlete

Fan favourite long course professional triathlete Lionel Sanders shares his thoughts on dealing with doping rumours in the sport and focusing on himself.

Staff Reporter
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Last season, the triathlon community was rocked by the shock suspension of American professional triathlete Collin Chartier for an anti-doping violation.

Having tested positive for EPO, Chartier’s ban impacted not only the sport but also his team around him, with former training partner Lionel Sanders issuing an emotional statement at the time.

Asked about how he deals with the fact that there may be other professionals still doping and flying under the radar, the Canadian star addressed the issue in his typical candid manner on YouTube.

“Don’t f****** worry about it”

Having been through one of the most difficult situations an athlete can be put in after Chartier’s doping scandal, Sanders said that he has learnt to concentrate solely on himself.

Lionel Sanders training pic August 2023 photo credit Talbot Cox
[Photo credit: Talbot Cox]

“You can’t worry about that [other athletes doping rumours]. Of course I’ve gone through it all, my literal training partner who was living in my house got popped for doping, so of course I am not immune to emotion or skepticism.

“I was extremely skeptical after that occurred, I went through a lot of emotional turmoil, asking myself why do I do this sport if it’s not a level playing field? You know how you fix that? Don’t f****** worry about it, it’s none of your business, because you can’t control these people.” 

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“Beat them anyway”

Putting the onus on his own training and ability, the Windsor native said all he can do is train harder than anyone else, trust the anti-doping system in place and follow his own path.

“You have to hope that the powers that be are doing their job and beat them anyway, beat them anyway and there you go, done, fixed that for you.

“If you’re not the most talented, how do you win? You out train them, it’s what I believed in the beginning, that’s how I trained and I can out train anyone, I believe that in the depth of my being and that’s how I win.

“One day I am going to do an IRONMAN event again, better than I have ever done it before. That is the dream, that is the dream, to transcend oneself and I’m in it to win it baby!”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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