Legendary local bicycle racer banned

David LeDuc, known to many as the king of bicycle racing in North Carolina, has received a two-year ban from competition from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

The 62-year-old cyclist, known by the nickname “The Ol’ Man” in local racing circles, is a 21-time national champion and 2001 age-group world champion. LeDuc failed a urine test at the U.S. Masters National Road Championships in Oregon last summer. The cyclist admitted to using a wide range of performance enhancing drugs, including synthetic testosterone and EPO, a drug used by some professional cyclists like Lance Armstrong. However, USADA has allowed LeDuc to keep all his wins before the positive test.

LeDuc remarked he admitted to doping when he was informed of his positive A test. He added that doctors had given him legitimate prescriptions for Testosterone and amphetamines but he had no excuse for EPO. LeDuc remarked he suffered from symptoms of low testosterone such as depression and lethargy and his doctor diagnosed with low testosterone levels. LeDuc added that a friend competing in a different sport had given a small amount of EPO to him shortly after the 2013 nationals after he learned that LeDuc was having a poor season.

The cyclist added he had been riding clean when he conquered the national championship and hesitated to reveal how long he had been using amphetamines but said he had been using the testosterone and EPO only a short period before he delivered the positive test. LeDuc went on to remark that using testosterone and EPO didn’t help him and he had the worst results this year. LeDuc remarked he plans to race again when his sanction is over.

LeDuc started racing in 1980 when he was doing graduation in English at N.C. State University and after being influenced by the iconic cycling movie “Breaking Away.” In 2013, LeDuc won the 27-mile race for over-60 racers in the morning at the Tour de Moore in 2013. The cyclist then lined for the 55-mile race for 50-plus rider at 12:15 p.m. that he won as well. He was almost a regular at the 39-year-old Tour de Moore in Southern Pines, which is one of the largest races in the Southeast. Race director Mac Canon said LeDuc is an excellent racer, an excellent rider, and he’s safe to be around. Mac Canon added he is shocked but LeDuc has had a lot of wins, and won a lot of races convincingly and added nobody trains harder than him.

Judy Rhyne of Southern Pines, a long-time national racing judge and president of the Carolinas Cycling Association, said he like many others find it hard to understand why someone old enough to be a grandfather would be using such drugs to win obscure races with tiny prizes. Rhyne added that her organization has plans to enter into a partnership with USA Cycling, the national sanctioning body, to share the cost for USADA testing at certain events this year.

Doping has remained a big problem in professional cycling as well as amateur bike racing. In 2012, a masters’ racer from California failed a drug test at the U.S. Masters National Road Championships. In 2010, a racer named Pete Cannell tested positive for an anabolic steroid and forfeited three masters’ national championships.

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