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Ciolli, a former national and many-time state amateur champion who had already raced in Tulsa on Friday night, says she entered the relatively benign masters event for fun and exercise.Her race consisted of only five women—two of them teammates—and would run combined with a men’s masters race with 64 entrants.What followed for Ciolli, a longtime fixture and leader in Texas women’s cycling, has been shame, sadness, frustration, anger, and finally the epiphany that maybe the anti-doping system, at least in its treatment of older athletes, is broken.When it comes to doping, there are basically three kinds of amateur masters athlete.Once you have achieved a certain level of success, it can be harder than ever to find someone interested in you for who you are and not what you have.
They don’t want to break rules in order to participate, either.
Ciolli, a one-time nurse who now works in Austin, Texas, as a residential developer, and who has been competing in cycling for well over a decade, guided her Specialized bike with the main pack for as long as she could over the short-circuit course.
At the finish line, she saw only men, and quickly discovered that she was the first woman across—a victory she found unremarkable. The Colorado Springs, Colorado-based United States Anti-Doping Agency, the nation’s cop when it comes to the battle over performance-enhancing drugs, was running doping controls at the Tulsa Tough.
For the first time in her racing career, Ciolli was summoned by its officials to pee into a cup.
A little over two months after Ciolli’s Oklahoma race, USADA announced that she had tested positive for testosterone and a stimulant called propylhexedrine, and would be banned from all sanctioned competition for two years.