Miller banned by Triathlon Canada

In a statement released today, Canadian triathlete Julie Miller is banned from any race sanctioned by Triathlon Canada commencing November 1, 2015, and is for 2 years. The ban extends to events sanctioned by the provincial federations under Triathlon Canada. "The ban also includes competing for Team Canada in events outside of the country."

The statement continued: "In addition, the Disciplinary Committee has also determined that Ms. Miller's Triathlon Canada Award of Excellence be rescinded, and her name be removed from all National Championship race results from 2013 to present."

Ms. Miller's performances in at least 4 races have come under scrutiny. Race officials decided that Ms. Miller did not complete the entire run course during both the 2013 and 2015 Ironman Canada events, and her performance at the 2014 Subaru Vancouver Triathlon was negated after the timing company reported widely variant times over the 4 loops of the bike course. On September 3, 2015, Ironman indefinitely suspended Ms. Miller from all its events, and her results at both these Ironman races were negated.

Triathlon Canada's executive director, Tim Wilson, was asked at which races the Code of Conduct violations took place. There were "multiple breaches," according to Mr. Wilson, but he "can't specify the events."

After her DQs at Ironman Canada and the Subaru Vancouver half, the focus shifted to her 2014 World Championship age-group victory at Weihai. Slowtwitch published its own analysis of Ms. Miller's performance at that race on September 24, 2015. In its statement today, Triathlon Canada wrote that it "has also issued a formal request to the International Triathlon Union (ITU) to investigate the race results at the 2014 Long Distance World Championships in China."

In September Slowtwitch asked Alan Ma, the ITU's technical delegate for the race in Weihai, questions about the Weihai race. He referred inquiries about Ms. Miller's championship victory to the ITU's spokesperson Erin Greene. Ms. Greene re-referred us to the technical committee chair Gergely Markus, who wrote that Ms. Miller's Weihai race, "will be on the agenda of the next Technical Committee meeting for further investigation." Slowtwitch has had no further communication from the ITU on Weihai.

As of now Ms. Miller is still triathlon's Long Course World Champion in the female 40-44 age group, because Triathlon Canada has no power to negate that victory. "We can request a formal request about this," said Mr. Wilson, "and that's what we've done." He said he asked Triathlon Canada's technical delegate David Markham – a triathlon official since the sport's earliest days – to request a formal investigation to the appropriate person at the ITU, which would be the ITU's technical committee chair Mr. Markus.

Whether a daughter national federation's official request injects new urgency into the investigation of the Weihai race remains to be seen. An outreach to the ITU on the status of Ms. Miller's performance in Weihai was not immediately returned.

TriathlonBC, the provincial federation under the Triathlon Canada umbrella, published its own statement last week, issuing its own ban effective the same day as Triathlon Canada's ban announced today. Triathlon Canada's Media and Public Relations manager Chris Dornan confirmed that both bans flowed from Triathlon Canada's investigation, and that Triathlon Canada's statement was not released until Ms. Miller's 15-day right to respond to allegations was exhausted.

"Ms. Miller was given 15 days – from November 13 – to appeal the decision under Triathlon Canada's Appeals Policy," per Triathlon Canadal's statement released today. "Ms. Miller failed to exercise her right of appeal by November 28, and therefore, the sanctions will take effect immediately."

Triathlon Canada's complete statement is on its website.