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Three Things to Know Going Into Sanctionals Opening Week

Nov 17, 2019 by

The 2019-2020 CrossFit Sanctionals season kicks off this week in Dublin, Ireland with the Filthy 150. Our team is en route already to be on the ground to bring you complete coverage of the first Sanctional of the season, but before we get into that here are three things to know going into this week. 

Five more athletes banned: Over the weekend, CrossFit announced the second wave of drug violations, this time involving four masters athletes, including two podium finishers, and one individual. The announcement follows up seven athletes announced last month for a total of 12 from the 2019 Games. 

On the list:

  1. Gabor Torok, 48th in individual men, tested positive for a Stanozolol metabolite.
  2. Vincent Lopez, 8th in Masters 55-59, tested positive for exogenous testosterone.
  3. Paul Perna, 1st in Masters 60+, tested positive for exogenous testosterone.
  4. Robbie Perovich, 6th in Masters 40-44, tested positive for GW1516 sulfoxide and GW1516 sulfone, metabolites of GW1516.
  5. Marion Valkenburg, 3rd in Masters 55-59, tested positive for Stanozolol metabolites (3′-hydroxystanozolol and 16β-hydroxystanozolol). 

One big thing: There’s a real drug problem developing in masters divisions. Across six divisions and 120 athletes, a total of five masters popped for a performance-enhancing drug. The prize purse for masters hasn’t increased but the available spots shrunk by half last season. Being a Games athlete has long been considered a status symbol regardless of the prize money and with fewer spots available and the level of competition increasing it could be putting pressure on athletes to find other ways to stay competitive. 

  • A total of 11 masters athletes have popped over the years, according to Chad Schroeder. 

Official 20.4 winners announced. Canada’s Jeffery Adler and 21-year-old Sasha Nievas of Argentina claimed the top spot on the leaderboard for 20.4. Alder finished the workout in a time of 12:41 (almost 2 minutes ahead of Mat Fraser) while the female champ Nievas was almost a full 2 minutes ahead of him (11:08) This raises again the question of the loading for female athletes and whether it was a fair comparison to the men’s weight in the tail end of the workout. 

Alder made his debut at the 2019 CrossFit Games, finishing in 33rd while Nievas finished the 2019 Open in 635th place worldwide.

  • Worth noting: We’re still waiting on HQ to release the penalties for both 20.4 and 20.5 as well as 20.5 winners. Moreover, we’re hanging out for confirmation of those athletes who’ve earned a ticket to Madison through the Open. 

Filthy 150: The first Sanctional kicks off on Friday, and while the cast is loaded with athletes to watch there are a number of important implications.

  • No one has a guaranteed spot to the Games yet. Even Sara Sigmundsdottir, who’s the overall Open winner, isn’t guaranteed until the final review is done. We’d fully expect athletes to take this very competition and come prepared to win. 
  • The team competition officially kicks off this week. Teams no longer qualify through the Open, only through Sanctionals. Whichever team sits at the top come Sunday evening will be the first team going to Madison. 
  • We won’t know who the actual individual invitees are for a few more weeks. Similar to last season, it’s all dependent on who qualifies through the Open. 

Bottom line: There are still 230 days or nearly 33 weeks left in the 2019-2020 CrossFit Games season.



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CrossFit Open | Filthy 150

Gabor Torok | Jeffrey Adler | Sasha Nievas | Sara Sigmundsdottir



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