British Paralympic hopeful cyclist banned for three years for doping offence

Erin McBride, who joined the British Cycling team after switching from athletics this year, tested positive for a banned substance

Doping control
(Image credit: Getty)

A British Paralympic hopeful cyclist has been banned for three years for a doping offence.

Erin McBride, a former track runner who joined the British Cycling Paralympic team earlier this year, tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine in March, and has now been banned for three years.

UK Anti-Doping announced on Friday (October 22) that McBride has been banned from competition for three years after she tested positive for the substance, traditionally used in the treatment of muscle wastage and osteoporosis. 

McBride, who is visually impaired, joined the BC Paralympic World Class Programme in early 2021, but tested positive for Ostarine shortly before signing with the team in an out of competition test on March 3. After British Cycling received notification of the test on April 15, McBride was immediately suspended.

She has never competed for Great Britain on the bike. Before switching to cycling, McBride competed in the International Paralympic Committee World and European Championships, winning bronze in the 400m in the 2013 Euro Championships and 100m gold at the Worlds the following year. 

Her suspension remained private until UKAD formally announced her ban this week, which runs from April 23, 2021 until April 22, 2024. 

A spokesperson for BC said: “Following today’s announcement of the decision by UK Anti-Doping to suspend Erin McBride – a visually impaired sprinter inducted into British Cycling’s Paralympic World Class Programme in early 2021 – as the result of an adverse analytical finding for the banned substance Ostarine, we are able to comment on a matter which until now has been protected by her right to confidentiality.  

“British Cycling offers our full backing to UKAD’s decision – as the UK’s anti-doping regulations make clear, each athlete is responsible for any banned substances found in their body unless they are able to fully demonstrate otherwise.  

“All riders on the Great Britain Cycling Team are given anti-doping education that follows the most recent version of the UKAD Clean Sport Curriculum as we want to ensure that all our riders are fully aware of the risks associated with supplements and how they can reduce those risks. This includes the warning that supplement products can pose a significant risk to athletes in terms of unintentional doping. In many cases the presence of a prohibited substance in a supplement arises from unintentional contamination. We advise our riders to be vigilant in their decision to use any such products and remind them that no guarantee can be given that any particular supplement is free from prohibited substances.” 

McBride signed with the British Cycling Paralympic team on March 16 this year, after her test was taken on March 3. She never got a chance to compete for GB before her suspension a month later.   

Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator and in athletes produces similar effects to anabolic steroids. 

It was banned in 2008 by the World Anti-Doping Agency, but can be found in many off-the-shelf gym supplements like pre-workout.  

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.