US cyclocross racer Katie Compton banned for four years after positive test

The American tested positive for an anabolic steroid in an out of competition test

Katy Compton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has banned American cyclocross racer, Katie Compton, for four years after she tested positive for anabolic steroids in an out-of-competition test.

Compton, who is 42-years-old, accepted the ban of which she has technically already served a year due to the ban starting from the day of the test, September 16, 2020. She has also been disqualified from all her race results since that time.

She was set to retire after the World Championships in Arkansas in January of 2022 but now she will end her career on a low with her ban being too long for her to think about returning to racing.

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Compton released a statement saying: "This news comes with great heartache and sadness, and it is the worst possible way to end my cycling career.

"I need to preface this news with the fact that I have always been a clean athlete, and I am proud of how much I have accomplished racing clean and being very careful with whatever I put into my body, especially after dealing with so many health issues throughout my life."

According to the USADA, a Carbon Isotope Ratio test was used in testing Compton's sample. The test can distinguish between naturally occurring and artificial anabolic agents of an external origin.

Despite accepting the ban from USADA Compton said that she has raced clean and has never doped in her career.

Compton said: "I provided a sample for USADA in September 2020 that came back negative for any banned substances, it was not even atypical. That news was communicated to me in the same way it has always been via a letter from USADA. I've received that same letter after every test I've submitted for the last 19 years.

"In early February of 2021, after returning from a difficult race season, I learned that the same sample from September was re-analyzed due to a bio-passport irregularity and found to be positive for an exogenous anabolic steroid.

"This was devastating news to me as I have never intentionally or knowingly put anything like that into my body. I know how delicate women's hormones are, and I would never choose to take anything to jeopardize my health and, as a result, suffer irreparable damage to my endocrine system. And not only that, I never took anything for ethical and moral reasons; I've been a strong proponent of clean sport my entire career and feel doing anything to enhance one's own natural ability is cheating, full stop."

Compton went on to stress that she wanted to defend her reputation despite now retiring from the sport and has hired a lawyer to help investigate and to prove that she did not knowingly take any banned substances.

Compton has been a vocal critic of other riders who have tested positive in the past, last year criticising the ban length of Denise Betsema in an interview with Cycling Weekly after the Dutchwoman was banned for six months during the cyclocross off-season.

“I don’t think [the ban] is enough,” Compton said. “It should be a minimum of 12 months and not during the off-season.

“If riders don’t suffer any ramifications for knowingly or unknowingly ingesting banned substances, why would they take extra precautions to avoid a tainted supplement?”

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.