top of page

Do performance enhancing drugs work in Enduro?

The MTB world was recently rocked by the news that a few top riders have been caught using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). A lot of people have reached out on social media asking my thoughts.

***Before you read further, it is worth noting that I give every athlete the benefit of the doubt, and I encourage you to do the same. I will mention this a few times throughout the article***

When I give talks about supplements in sports, I preface by saying that it is slippery slope.

And we need to look at both sides.

One one side, we need to consider that water is performance enhancing.

Seriously! Losing just 1% of your body’s mass in sweat can decrease performance! But nobody would argue about drinking water during a race. Or ever, really.

You could take it a step further and say that an isotonic sports drink is performance enhancing, or that having a diet high in dietary nitrate is performance enhancing–but nobody would shout at you for drinking a bottle of beetroot juice on the start line.

Heck, even training at all is performance enhancing….


Of course, these are only ‘ethical’ arguments, and rules are rules. One the flip side, there is a clear list of banned substances in MTB, and I contract my riders to never take any PEDs while working with me.

Or ever for that matter.

If they do, we are done.


This is caffeine. Caffeine is fine up until a certain point. While it is indeed a drug, we seem to have accepted this in society at low levels.

Do PEDs work in Enduro?


While it is absolutely clear that winning in enduro comes down to raw speed, riders can still go faster down hills by improving their fitness.

How does braking affect your corner speed?

This is because muscles that use oxygen more efficiently allow us to recover more quickly between the very short, very hard efforts in race runs. Recovering jus