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Racer X/Moto XXX Virtual Trainer

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 In the third and final part of my interview with Jeff Spencer, trainer to Chad Reed and Nathan Ramsey, Jeff talks about the questions of performance-enhancing drug use in our sport. (Check out parts 1 and 2.)

Racer X: Let’s shift gears a little and talk about performance-enhancing drugs in MX. Everyone seems to be familiar with doping in sport; do you think there are MX guys that are using performance-enhancing drugs?
Rumor has it there is, but I have no proof of it.

Do you think there should be mandatory drug testing in professional MX?
For sure. There should be aggressive, mandatory, and random performance-enhancing drug testing with very stiff, immediate consequences, like a two-year ban on the first offense and for life on the second, as seen in cycling. The bottom line is, drugs are not good for anybody. They are not good for the athlete, the athlete’s family, or the sport. There are no winners with drugs, and that‘s why I am for very strict random drug testing with strict, harsh, and immediate penalty.

Do you think this will ever happen in MX?
I hope so. The testing needs to be for performance-enhancing drugs, which isn’t done now. They only test for recreational drugs. Hey, hold on a second, Chad is on the other line and I need to talk to him a second….
    So there you have a good example of how Chad and I communicate each day: a two-minute conversation regarding what we are doing today. So anyway, where were we? Let me be very clear about drug use: I love the sport and it makes me very, very sad to think that drug use has maybe made its way into the sport. It distresses me to no end. I love the sport and feel the best way to maintain healthy competition is to confront the drug issue as aggressively and quickly as possible and administer swift and severe penalties for offenders. The longer it takes to put an aggressive testing and significant penalty program together, the greater the chance of corrupting the sport.

I am surprised there isn’t more of a push from the top athletes to call for random drug testing.
I think if you asked any top rider, they would say the same thing, but testing needs to first be for performance-enhancing and not recreational drugs.

A very dangerous consequence of not having performance-enhancing drug testing in MX is that some amateurs will undoubtedly conclude that the pros must be doing something extra, besides training, to be able to ride for the length of time that they do and incorrectly assume that drugs must play a role.
If someone thinks drugs are the key to factory fitness, they’re fooling themselves. Genetics, hard work, a great plan, good nutrition, and a healthy mindset are the foundation for success. There is also the issue of respect. If you respect yourself, others, and the sport, why would you want to corrupt it by taking drugs? I don’t know how any athlete who takes drugs and wins could stand on the podium with the slightest amount of self-respect and not feel like the world’s biggest imposter. Self-worth and personal empowerment come from taking the high road, drawing a line in the sand, and never stepping across it. Drug use dramatically accelerates the aging process, body deterioration, and increases the risk of mental and physical illness. Again, there are no winners with drug use, only a trail of hypocrisy, dishonesty, and destruction left in its wake.

I certainly understand that. Before I let you go, let’s round this out with one last question: What is your number-one piece of advice for the weekend warrior when it comes to training?
Doing a little training every day is more important than doing a lot every other day. Keep it balanced and fun. Remain a student of the sport and always seek excellence.

Thanks, Jeff, I really appreciate your time.
Thank you, Tim. I love supercross and motocross. Thanks for the chance to share my views on training with you.

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