RESPONSE TO COMMENTS

22 June 2016 Comments 33

Just a quick note to respond to all the comments related to Rob Young on my most recent blog concerning Dustin Johnson.

First, thanks very much for reading it. 🙂

Second, thank you also for bringing the allegations about Robert Young’s record-breaking trans-continental attempt to my attention. Although almost all of you have given your comments by use of a first name only, and I have also received an anonymous email with similar allegations, I have read them and do take them seriously.

I have been assured by Rob, his manager and the Swiss-based SKINS staff member travelling with Rob that no ‘cheating’ occurred. Nonetheless, SKINS is true to its brand values and obviously these concerns warrant attention.

I have, therefore, made arrangements for this matter be investigated as soon as possible by an independent expert. I shall let you know who that is once their appointment is confirmed.

In addition to available data, the independent review will no doubt look at the comments on my blog also. If any of you wish to provide additional information that is not anonymous, you are welcome to do so.

Thanks again for your concern. You can be assured I want to find out what’s gone on here also.

In the meantime, please see here a media statement from SKINS on this matter.

33 comments on "RESPONSE TO COMMENTS"

  1. Wayne on 22 June 2016

    Hi Jaimie,

    Good man for reading the responses and taking action.

    I look forward to the independent review.

    Happy to point the reviewer towards evidence (my email address should’ve shown up – I was response #2 if it hasn’t just reply and I can email them directly)

    Thanks
    Wayne

  2. Gia Vaz on 22 June 2016

    Mr Fuller,

    I welcome this investigation.

    I don’t understand however how you can make these statements when the results of the investigation are still unknown: “SKINS will continue to work with Robert in the future”.

    Thanks,
    Gia

  3. Michael Steven on 22 June 2016

    If you are planning a truly independent review, then I’d like to also see an open invitation extended to the running community, specifically Let’s Run, to also have a member present when the data is presented. Two heads are always better than one, it would be of no cost to you, and it’d be a second person to solidify Rob’s claims if they are deemed valid. Surely with only one “independent” reviewer, handpicked by Skins (who had a heavy hand in this attempt), it’s going to be tough to win over the doubters, but by adding a second reviewer, it would leave no doubt in the running community’s heads over the claims.

  4. R.B.L. on 22 June 2016

    Jaimie,

    I appreciate your additional post here, but this is still unacceptable. Those questioning Robert Young do not trust Skins since your own employee collaborated with Young. This move will be seen as only a ploy to claim you released the data, without actually doing so. You must allow someone who has questioned Young’s attempt also to witness the data. There are plenty who have questioned all of this using their own names, such as Asher Delmott, Markus Mueller, and Lindley Chalmers among others.

    As for me, I fear online retaliation as a whistle-blower so I would prefer not to reveal my name. This in no way makes the questions and suggestions I and others make any less valid. You can contact me through email if you desire.

  5. R.B.L. on 22 June 2016

    It is inexcusable that the TomTom data has not been publicly released. Robert Young himself questioned and criticized Mark Vaz for the lack of data on his recent seven-day LEJOG record claim. It is not unreasonable to request the data on a record attempt.

    Furthermore, Young’s team has been intentionally deceptive by releasing only blurry Facebook photos of some of his data. Who does that? Young’s team is tech savvy and is perfectly capable of clicking a button to release the data. Instead, the parts of the data (such as cadence and heart rate which would help demonstrate that Young was running, not riding in the van) is intentionally not seen, and yet he was claiming paces and distances that would be near records for stand-alone runs.

    Appointing an independent witness is NOT the immediate and public release of all of Young’s data which has been repeatedly been requested from the start. Anything less than the immediate and public release of all of Young’s data is not acceptable.

  6. D.R on 22 June 2016

    Dear Jaimie,

    Thanks for taking time to address this issue.

    If Rob just release his TomTom information which includes heart rate, steps/strides per minute and a route map all this would be resolved rapidly. I suggest that you request him or his team to do this for every day/night that he ran. A simple request.

  7. Derek Murphy on 22 June 2016

    Jamie, thanks for taking this seriously. I would welcome the opportunity to review the data along with your independent analyst. I run the blog http://www.marathoninvestigation.com. While I typically post about those that I believe have cheated, there was one high profile instance where I was the biggest advocate for a runner that had his results questioned by the London Marathon. The runner was vindicated.

  8. Leona Swift on 22 June 2016

    Although given what appears to be a long career of image inflation and falsification from Rob, the best SKINS can achieve here is a change from “sorry, we’re complicit” to “sorry, we do absolutely no due diligence on our athletes.”

    Meanwhile, your press release states:

    “SKINS will continue to work with Robert in the future, so he can
    compete at the highest level in all of his upcoming races and record-attempting ventures.”

    I wish him all the best in his professional cycling career too…

  9. David Mulvee on 22 June 2016

    Why are you continuing to work with him and promote him when the evidence is so clear cut? The TomTom data takes 2 seconds to post, you need to insist that it is done. As someone who has Skins products, I won’t be buying any ever again if you continue to support people who are damaging my sport. Please suspend this athlete and your employee (who must have been involved) immediately!

  10. Mike on 22 June 2016

    You should know that no real runner will ever believe Robert was “running” 3 hour marathons through the Rockies on his transcon run, etc, etc, even if an “independent expert” rubber stamps it. Actual release of the data to the public, not just this appointment person, is needed. This kind of running would make him a true physiologic GOD. So why not release his data to prove it and we can all shout from the rooftops how amazing he is?

  11. Anne on 22 June 2016

    Dear Mr Fuller

    I’m pleased to hear SKINS will now investigate this attempt, however I would also like to know whether SKINS will allow your independent investigator to examine some of Mr Young’s past history and involvement with SKINS.

    What due diligence did SKINS carry out to ensure that they were backing a legitimate athlete? It would appear from other sources that a number of Rob Young’s self-proclaimed feats were, at the very best, exaggerations or distortions of the truth. He has yet to address any of these discrepancies openly.

    A cohort of people have pulled together information which is in the public domain regarding Robert Young, summarised with sources at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NBkfw48Jv6JlP0gBLP5JbPt6qz5Qfyf105fIXYa_hAk/edit?pref=2&pli=1#heading=h.czin68l2stle. Would giving their full name alongside each piece of information make it any more or less accurate?

    Robert’s own blog talks about truth and integrity: http://www.marathonmanuk.co.uk/2016/01/28/robert-signed-to-skins/
    but he is lacking in transparency when asked to share data that any other runner – from parkrun to ultramarathon – would share if asking others for donations to charity. From your perspective, how does his use of SKINS products and product development square with his TransCon photographs clearly showing he is not using SKINS in the latter stages?

    I sincerely hope that, whatever the outcome of the investigation, SKINS will publish the findings in full. Either to completely exonerate Robert and clear his name, or to explain how SKINS will ensure no similar occurrence ever blots their name again.

    Anne (email address with full name given)

  12. Michael Connor on 22 June 2016

    Mr. Fuller,

    May I suggest Ray Maker, of dcrainmaker.com.

    He has tremendous standing in the running/endurance community, and he analysis and reviews of GPS equipment and other exercise days is exhaustive, well-renowned, and second to none.

  13. Michael Connor on 22 June 2016

    Sorry for the autocorrect – his, not he / data, not days.

  14. John Handry on 22 June 2016

    Happy to see you’re taking these allegations more seriously.

    However, since there was a SKINS rep along for the ride (so to speak) I certainly agree with the posters above that a 2nd party has to be privy to the investigation and data release.

    I would highly recommend contacting Weldon or Robert Johnson of Letsrun. If they rubber stamp the data it will kill the naysayers. I’m still skeptical and hope you don’t make a mockery of this by investigating with someone on the SKINS payroll.

    Hope the best scenario happens (the matter is investigated, Rob Young is found to have been cheating which is pretty obvious and provable, you fire/discipline your employee who was along for the ride, skins saves it’s skin)

  15. Darren Woodward on 23 June 2016

    I would suggest a team of Andy Milroy, someone from the RRC and an expert in GPS files from TomTom. That would cover off the ultra distance stats, experience and the tech.

  16. Ken on 23 June 2016

    Mr. Fuller,

    Robert Young has misrepresented and lied to you. This is not a point contention, ie “professional cyclist”. Yet you refuse to take decisive action. You are the CEO, you had two company representatives at ground zero. I would have Mike in my office and offer him one opportunity, letting him know that an independent review is forthcoming. I would have the GPS data released immediately. By not doing so, SKINS continues to appear that they involved and colluding with Robert Young. I do hope SKINS moves forward with integrity and transparency.

  17. Mike on 23 June 2016

    Robert Young runs 40-50 out of his 70-80 miles at a sub-7 pace: http://imgur.com/TFQfTAe, but cannot come close to duplicating this under supervision.

    Joe Fejes – WORLD CLASS multi-day runner, during his American Record 6-day run last year, did not run a SINGLE mile that fast: http://imgur.com/OUrZJhv.

    Forgive us that we do not believe Robert Young’s nonchalant, unproven claims. If he is truly this great, let’s get the data and let the world know SKINS is backing a legend. But this must be rigorously verified.

    To borrow from your golf article, this is like a player recording a string of 52s day after day, yet curiously, this golfer never enters a televised game. He claims to record every round though, but all we ever see are Facebook posts of his scorecard, and a few effusive fans claiming “I saw him on the 11th and he hit a great drive, plus he’s such a great guy!”.

    These outrageous claims by Mr. Young need to be investigated, I’m glad you’ve committed to doing that, and I hope that it is done in a quick, thorough manner.

    Thank you.

  18. R.B.L. on 23 June 2016

    Jaimie,

    The delays with the data release are completely INEXCUSABLE. Your employee (Michael Speicher) HAS the data. 70 pictures of TomTom summaries were posted on Facebook. The paces that Young’s team were claiming for stretches of 20, 30, 40, and even 50 miles at a time are so off the charts that data (WHICH THEY POSSESS!) *must* be released to verify he was not cheating by riding in the RV instead. These are paces that Young has *never* run in a verified marathon, and yet he claims to have strung day after day after day of dozens and dozens of miles at these paces. Robert Young promised that after the run was over he would release the data. It’s been days now since he stopped. The delays are inexcusable. Demand the IMMEDIATE and PUBLIC release of ALL Young’s data. As CEO of the company which sponsored this farce and one of your own employees operating as a chief crew member, you have the authority to demand the data to be released. Do it. As CEO, you get paid to make the tough decisions. Now back up your claims for integrity and honesty in sports and demand the release of the data.

  19. R.B.L. on 23 June 2016

    Also realize that this story is not going away. The story went viral online in the running community because it’s the perfect storm of a running scandal. (1) an attempt to break a record that had stood for 36 years. (2) massive blatant cheating, not just 2 or 3 miles in the support vehicle when Young was tired. Instead, it appears Young rode for hundreds of miles instead of running. (3) serious questions about potential charity fraud. All of this was attempted and funded by charity fund-raising. The story is not going away. The article in the Guardian has already been shared over 500 times online.
    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/22/robert-young-marathon-record-attempt-cheating-rumors

    The long-range reputation of yourself as CEO and the company Skins is at stake with how you handle this. And so far, it doesn’t look good since openness, honesty, and transparency have been lacking so far.

    Simple action is need. Immediate and public release of all of Robert Young’s data.

  20. Cindy Vaz on 23 June 2016

    Rob wrote a couple of days ago he would release all data in the next days.
    I am still waiting.
    He just needs to push one button to publish all his GPS data to Strava.
    Why does this take so much time?

  21. Mike Rossi on 23 June 2016

    Rob, Buddy deny everything. Make them prove you didn’t run it.

  22. Mike on 24 June 2016

    As much as I appreciate the “independent analysis” that will be undertaken, let me stress that this is not a complicated case. It’s not like we’re in need of forensic accountants to figure out Enron or something. This is a simple question of where someone was, when. We do not need some panel of “experts” taking months to produce a bloated report. Please make this quick and concise, if possible (which likely it is).

    For example, Mr. Young could, within seconds, click on a website to publish, for example, this 22 mile run which he has obscured from view. (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C8EK-vrrSqU/V2W4sFsmU2I/AAAAAAAAHpM/ntYXeP7cQJAt9IvWq9rLTaPYWH0LO0QpQCK4B/s1600/tomtom_may18_cutoff_clip.jpg), thereby putting to rest whether he really ran from Bannock to Laughlin (see http://ryinvestigation.blogspot.com).

    Just a few files from June 4/5 in Emporia, KS could shed light on those incidents and determine if lies were told, for example.

    Just one of his claimed 20+ mile sub-7 runs could be inspected to see if reasonable splits, variance in pace with elevation, heart rate, and cadence data are present.

    Make no mistake, this is not a complicated case in need of expert computer analysis or something. This can likely be solved on a first-pass glance of a website which Mr. Young has not made public.

    I urge you to act with urgency, as the data that would so quickly clear all of this up, is in the sole hands of the person accused of all of this…

  23. Mark Radomsky on 24 June 2016

    Initially I believed that Rob and his team were defrauding SKINS.

    However you state that the data will only be seen by one person appointed by SKINS, rather than being made public, as Rob and crew have repeatedly promised. You have also stated that you believe Rob, in spite of incontrovertible evidence that shows him to be a liar and extremely strong evidence that he cheated in his trans-continental attempt.

    I now believe SKINS is complicit in this fraud and will be expressing this view to many others in the running community.

    The longer this scenario plays out, the worse the fallout will be for your company. Just ask Barb McKeever and the Lehigh Valley Marathon.

  24. dude on 24 June 2016

    The fact that this even requires an investigation on your part is suspect. There is a mountain of evidence cited here and elsewhere and he has yet to do the simplest of tasks (release his GPS data). The whole thing suggests SKINS has no understanding of running, was aware/part of the funny stuff, and/or doesn’t care.

  25. Jack Moore on 24 June 2016

    “In order to clear up this matter, in the next few days all data from the trip, which should exonerate me from any suggestion of wrongdoing, will be made available for examination by all concerned parties.
    Marathonmanuk
    June 20 at 10:35pm ”

    Hello, mr Fuller?

  26. Brian Stamper on 24 June 2016

    Mr. Fuller,

    You seem to understand the game of golf.

    If someone claimed that that they just made 72 holes in one for the Masters, would you believe it? No, you understand multiple reasons why that would be impossible. The ultra running community understands running, and much like the golf example understand why Robert Young’s transcon results are impossible

    He has been DQ’ed from triathlon for CHEATING, he has lied MULTIPLE times, yet SKINS does nothing. Sir you claim to “care” to “operated with integrity”, and that we “need leadership”. Yet, you do not provide leadership and further erode any confidence people has in SKINS and their involvement in this matter.

  27. Paul A. on 25 June 2016

    Thank you for your efforts on this. I see that Rob has published some data on Strava, via facebook. I just want to point out that this is hugely problematic:

    1) There’s no cadence information. Rob’s tomtom watch tracked that. There’s only one reason to strip that out of the files: to conceal cheating (periods of time where he was moving and taking no steps).

    2) This doesn’t come directly from Rob’s tomtom account. We know the data is on tomtom – he posted photos of it weeks ago. The simplest way to make that data public would be to link it to strava. Please make sure Rob is asked why he didn’t just take the simplest and easiest route long ago.

    3) Rob has been posting and deleting runs as documented on letsrun.com; any runs that are “too fast” have been taken down after posting. There’s no reason to do that unless he’s editing the data or faking things.

    4) Even if you ignore all of the above, Rob’s paces are simply impossible for a runner of his caliber.

    This data doesn’t answer any questions – it raises more. It proves Rob to be evasive as best. I hope you will address all of the points I’ve raised above in any public statement.

    Thank you.

  28. Dr Runner on 26 June 2016

    Hi Jaimie,

    I know you have already been sent many emails about the doubts many in the online running community have about the veracity of Robert Young’s recent attempt to break the record for the transcontinental run across the USA. I believe you have stated you are waiting for independent experts to analyse the data and report back to you sometime next week.

    I just wanted to draw your attention to 2 things that really concern me when I have looked at the running data Rob has uploaded in the past 24 hours to Strava. Firstly, many activities that were initially uploaded have now been deleted. An example of this can be found near the bottom of the long list of Strava links he posted to his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marathonmanuk/posts/1033220390095552

    The data supplied on Strava do not come close to covering the entire distance Rob claims to have run. There are huge gaps, so how can the data possibly be used to confirm or deny his cheating when there is so much missing?

    Secondly, there are at least 2 segments that I have personally seen on Strava that are physically impossible. The most implausible of these takes place on May 20, when Rob had already been running up to 70 miles per day for many days. The link to Strava is here: https://www.strava.com/activities/618190605

    It seems that Rob ran this entire segment at an impossibly fast pace – around 6:26 min/mile or 4:00 min/km – while simultaneously climbing many thousands of feet. Miles 15-20 climb 1500ft while maintaining a pace that averages the same impressive 6:30 min/mile. As a stand-alone run this would be amazing; in the midst of a transcontinental run with many days of extremely high mileage already in the books, it is simply impossible.

    Unfortunately the data do not support his claim of running the whole way, and this is obvious even to laypersons such as myself (although I am an experienced marathoner (I have run Boston 3 times in the Elite Women’s field) and am also a doctor with a good grasp of physiology). I think that even without the analysis of your experts, the data already to hand is conclusive. Even though there is much missing that is essential to prove he was actually running rather than riding in the RV, such as cadence or HR data.

    I call upon you as CEO of SKINS – a company I am sure you would want associated with clean competition rather than cheating – to cease your support of Robert Young and remove your brand from association with his MarathonManUK moniker.

    I look forward to your reply on this matter.

    Many thanks

  29. Patrick on 26 June 2016

    How are all the comments anonymous? The person who originally blew this open is not anonymous and went out to support the Robert by running with him. Only to find Robert in the van.

  30. PJM on 30 June 2016

    So, it’s been one whole week since you said that you’d be looking into this matter. In the meantime, the folks over on Let’s Run have compiled a devastating case against Mr. Young supposed run across America.

    What have your experts found?

  31. Darren Woodward on 30 June 2016

    Mr Fuller’s experts don’t seem to have been appointed yet, perhaps he has found it difficult to find anyone who hasn’t seen enough already to call it for what it is. It begins to look like he want to know what decision they will reach before the experts are allowed to do the job. Otherwise I cant see what the delay is for.

  32. Pingback: Investigation into Rob Young Run : SKINS Water-Cooler

  33. shila on 26 October 2016

    very good and more effective post. thanks