Collin Chartier, the triathlon champion who grew up in Fairfax and has strong ties to NoVA, has been banned from the sport for three years for taking a banned substance.
Chartier, 29, has been suspended by the International Testing Agency after testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO) during a February drug test, the triathlon website 220 Triathlon reported.
EPO is banned because it stimulates red blood cell production, which in turn lets the body circulate oxygen more freely, enhancing performance.
Chartier admitted on Instagram to taking the drug and said he has no plans to return to the sport.
He said on Instagram that he is “deeply sorry,” and that he started taking EPO last November in a moment when he was “injured and sick and felt I had to do this if I was going to have the success I wanted in 2024.” He added that it was his decision alone: “I made a terrible choice, and now I will face the consequences, own it, and move on.”
Chartier added that at the time he had “lost my love for the sport. In my mind it became all or nothing. I went all in, too much so, and now I am all out.”
Chartier’s NoVA Roots
Chartier swam for the Potomac Marlins and at Woodson High School. He also ran for Woodson. At Marymount University, where Chartier had been recruited for its triathlon team, he competed in the triathlon, cross country, and swimming programs, graduating magna cum laude with a health sciences degree in 2017. He was the upset winner of the Professional Triathlon Organization’s U.S. Open last September—a combination of the 2-kilometer (1.24-mile) swim, an 80-kilometer (49.7-mile) bicycle race and an 18-kilometer (11.2-mile) run—in September. He also won the Ironman Mont Tremblant event in August.
The PTO said it was suspending Chartier indefinitely as well. The organization also said he had been tested before and after the U.S. Open, and the results were negative for any banned substances.
Chartier told a triathlon podcast this week that he would be keeping his U.S. Open prize money but would give back his 2023 sponsorship money.
“I’m trying to do what’s right,” he said. “I’m giving back the sponsorship money and I hope they can put this toward another athlete.”
‘I’m in Shock’
Not everyone believes Chartier’s assertion that it was his own decision: 2014 Ironman world champion Sebastian Kienle responded, “Let me guess, you bought it on the internet and also learned how to use it — all from the internet. Nobody helped you, nobody knew,” 220 Triathlon reported.
Chartier’s coach, Mikal Iden, said in a statement, “I’m in shock and crying just now learning that an athlete I’ve been coaching for the last year has been doping,” the website said. “I can’t distance myself enough from this action. It’s such a complete crash in my values it’s unthinkable.”
Feature photo courtesy Twitter/PTOtriorg
For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine’s News newsletter.