Doping positive at GFNY Cozumel

December 10, 2019

Rudy Rincon (Mex) banned for life by GFNY for testing positive for the drug GW1516 during an out of competition control in the lead up to GFNY Cozumel on November 10

NEW YORK CITY, December 10, 2019 – Rudy Rincon (Mexico) tested positive for GW1516 during out-of-competition controls (OCC) conducted in concurrence with the 2019 GFNY Cozumel, which was held on November 10.

Rincon has been disqualified from GFNY Cozumel and receives a lifetime ban from all GFNY events (Rule 9.2).

Rincon was among several randomly selected athletes out of a testing pool of 40, which contained riders with a legitimate chance to place in the top 10 overall or win an age group.

What is GW1516

GW1516, also known as Endurobol on the black market, is a fat-burning pill that initial trials suggested could increase stamina and help lose weight. However, GW1516 was pulled from clinical trials when it was found to rapidly develop cancer in several organs of test rats. Because it was not approved for human use, it has not undergone human studies and is not safe to use.

Why doping is illegal at GFNY

This is the eighth positive doping controls in GFNY ten-year history.

GFNY is the Global Cycling Marathon Series. GFNY races are open to professionals and amateurs like – similar to running and triathlon events, where all competitors toe the same start line, take on the same course, at the same time and are chip timed from start to finish.

“It’s simple: you can’t catch cheaters if you don’t perform doping controls,” says GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme. “These results show that testing is necessary and that it works. Unfortunately, most large mass participation races still don’t test which sends a clear, yet terribly worrying sign: doping is allowed here.”

“We don’t allow course cutting at our races so why would we look the other way when it comes to doping? GFNY riders train hard for races. They deserve a fair competition. We owe them doping controls, even if the costs are now well over $15,000 each year. Not testing the athletes is a selfish, cost saving decision from a race director. It forces everyone to take drugs to try to level the playing field.”

Doping Control Rules at GFNY

GFNY established doping controls in 2012 and is the first event open to amateurs that also institutes out of competition tests. In 2012, David Anthony (USA) and Gabriele Guarini (Italy) both tested positive for EPO at GFNY after winning their respective age groups. In 2015, first overall finisher, Oscar Tovar (Colombia), and Yamile Lugo (Colombia), who came third in the women’s race, both tested positive for Testosterone. In 2017, Manuel Serrano Plowells (Mexico) and in 2019 Gabriel Raff (Argentina) and Felipe Mendez (Colombia) tested positive for EPO during an OOC control at GFNY.

In addition to a lifetime ban for dopers at GFNY races, the race’s rules also state that a rider who tests positive at GFNY has to reimburse the cost of the doping test. Furthermore, such rider has to reimburse GFNY for any damages to its reputation that are a consequence of the positive doping control. If the rider is part of a team participating at GFNY, the team can be held liable for this damage [GFNY rules].

A rider who is currently banned by WADA from competition may not participate in any GFNY event. After the ban, he/she is allowed to participate, but has to start at the back of the field, with the timing chip removed and will not be in the results. This allows for social reintegration despite a lifelong ban from competing at GFNY. Several riders have taken part in GFNY over the years in this way.

You Can’t Find if You Don’t Test

“The blind eye turned by the race organizers is a complicit step in encouraging athletes to cheat,’ adds Chris Geiser in his article Breaking The Chain. “If we agree that an athlete’s ego is the primary driver in whether that athlete will cheat, and the fear of consequences for that athlete are removed, then the race is an accomplice to the act of cheating. A willing partner that can now perhaps boast a larger field of “top-tier” cheaters, grow the overall race field, attract more dollars from sponsors and registrants, and so on and so on.”

“For the race organizer that simply feels that to run any kind of anti-doping or testing program is just too complicated or too expensive, while they may not see their complicit part, and they may not ever want to believe that it would ever happen “at my race”, burying their heads in the sand is the same type of complicit act. It is like staying silent in the presence of a crime you don’t want to admit is being committed, but you know that it is.”

Main Focus Remains on Providing a Great Experience for All Riders

“Competitive sport at the top is important to us and has its place, which is why we take it seriously,” adds GFNY President, Lidia Fluhme. “That said, our main focus remains on providing a superior experience for all GFNY participants to do their best on a challenging course. A race for elite riders requires police support with just a 15 minute rolling closure. At GFNY, however, we ensure hours of closures and right of way for anyone who takes on the challenge and provide all GFNY riders the chance to Be a Pro For a Day™.”

More information on GFNY Antidoping:

Podcast episode on GFNY Antidoping by GFNY founders:

 About GFNY

GFNY is the global cycling marathon brand with events held in NYC, Argentina, Bali-Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Italy, Jerusalem-Israel, Indonesia, Cozumel-Mexico, Monterrey-Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, República Dominicana, Santa Fe-USA and Uruguay.

Riders get to BE A PRO FOR A DAY ® by competing against others, themselves and the clock in a personal endurance challenge.

At all GFNY events, riders have the chance to qualify for the elite racer corral at the GFNY World Championship in NYC by placing in the top 10% (20% at regional championships) of their age group.

GFNY World Championship NYC

The 10th annual GFNY World Championship New York will be held on May 17, 2020. The race features the world’s most international peloton with riders from over 90 countries. Athletes take on a challenging 100-mile route from NYC to Bear Mountain to Fort Lee to compete against each other, the clock and themselves in a personal endurance challenge.

The official GFNY website is:

GFNY World 2019/20 calendar

23 February 2020 GFNY BALI
22 March 2020 GFNY COLOMBIA
7 June 2020 GFNY SANTA FE
21 September 2020 GFNY PHILIPPINES
4 October 2020 GFNY PORTUGAL
4 October 2020 GFNY ARGENTINA
10 October 2020 GFNY ECUADOR
25 October 2020 GFNY PANAMA
8 November 2020 GFNY COZUMEL

Further Material for Media Use

GFNY Results: here
GFNY World calendar graphic: here
GFNY photo archive (credit SPORTOGRAF): here

Media Contact

Gran Fondo New York Inc.
Emma Bishop,
Uli Fluhme,