Fitness app Strava faces an uproar over an elite cycling user linked to doping – Los Angeles Times

Among the spandex-clad cyclists raised in the app generation, there’s no smartphone notification as foreboding as one from Strava.

The fitness tracking service bestows a virtual crown to the fastest riders completing specific routes — and it alerts them whenever someone has bested their times.

For cyclists in Los Angeles, someone using the name Thorfinn Sassquatch has been a leading peddler of anguish.

Sassquatch holds more than 800 kingships, records contested by weekend warriors and elite athletes alike. A spot atop Strava’s podium isn’t as big as winning the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, but each virtual title carries real-world bragging rights.

That’s why last month’s revelation that Sassquatch is linked to blood doping stirred grumblings across Strava’s global gym.

Some cyclists want the account’s jewels stripped, arguing that people connected to cheating deserve no rewards, even in cyberspace. Alternatives they’ve suggested include leaving a syringe emoji next to the account’s profile photo in perpetuity.