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Anti-Doping: Sporting Policy or New Religion?

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python said:
i
. . . some compounded these lies by becoming role models for my kids. it is this type of abusive dishonesty that draws doping lines for me. . .

Unless these role models admitted to wanting to be "role models for kids" you have no one to blame but yourself. Parenting tip #481 - Don't let strangers be role models for your kids (unless, of course, their names are Danny Donhaue and Anson Wheeler).
 
Sep 25, 2009
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SpeedWay said:
Unless these role models admitted to wanting to be "role models for kids" you have no one to blame but yourself. Parenting tip #481 - Don't let strangers be role models for your kids (unless, of course, their names are Danny Donhaue and Anson Wheeler).
here is a parenting tip 101 for you - move to the moon to be an effective parent practicing your own tips.
 
Sep 9, 2009
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SpeedWay said:
Unless these role models admitted to wanting to be "role models for kids" you have no one to blame but yourself. Parenting tip #481 - Don't let strangers be role models for your kids (unless, of course, their names are Danny Donhaue and Anson Wheeler).


Don't know about you, but my parents certainly didn't choose my role models. That's what's known as "growing up" -- you distance yourself from your parents somewhat in forming your own identity. Choosing role models -- people you'd like to be like -- is part of that process.

As regards the original poster's question, here's why I'm against doping in a nutshell from today's news:

During the investigation, officials recorded Dr. Lazzaro on video giving ozone therapy to a 15-year-old female swimmer in the presence of her parents, who are now also under investigation. In Italy, the practice of ozone therapy is prohibited in private clinics.
 
Apr 24, 2009
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Doping Is Only Part of the Problem

I think doping in all sports is just a symptom of the general corruption in sports. When you look at the history of some of sports leading bodies like the IOC or leading sport officials like Sepp Blatter is it any surprise that doping exists in sports?

We shouldn't just be furious about doping and ignore all the other corruption. We have to break down the walls of the Omerta that is extremely prevalent from the top of sports officialdom to sports journalists.

For example what proportion of media reports refers to the former head of the IOC being the Sports Minister in Spain for a government that was great friends with the Nazis; the IOC being a great place for former Nazis straight after WWII; Sepp Blatter once being elected as President of FIFA as a result of an official's girlfriend standing in and voting for Mr Blatter; an IOC member from South Korea being a former head of that country's Secret Police; during the Sydney Olympics an IOC delegate from an Eastern European country was refused a visa as he was wanted by the FBI in regards to their investigations into a huge international drugs ring; Mario Pescante, who tried to suppress a report into the doping practices in Italy in the early 90's, is now the IOC vice-president and a former middle-man for a company which paid bribes to FIFA was seen walking around the recent IOC Congress with official accreditation?

The media is complicit in the deafening silence. That is why doping attracts so much attention because it always the little fish that get caught. We need to focus on the big fish. I'm not saying that doping isn't a big deal but it is just part of the problem.
 
Apr 22, 2009
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python said:
if one defines doping as an illegal performance enhancement than we need to recognize that many ’legal’ enhancers are either not yet on the list or were removed or became ‘monitored’ substances. some are so borderline that even a good chemist could be confused.

what i am saying is that the illegal enhancement is not an easily defined black and white issue and therefore should not stir strong indignant emotions ('i hate doping’) unless a person involved is attempting to cover up by abusing truth and insulting everyone’s intelligence. In those case I start thinking not so much about disliking doping but a doper who takes me for a complete fool.

it probably does not make sense for the phylosofically inclined majority here but i have a problem with armstrong, landis, schumacher, hamilton.. not because they cheated chemically but because they cheated intellectually and became entrenched liars. some compounded these lies by becoming role models for my kids. it is this type of abusive dishonesty that draws doping lines for me.

This is something like the way I feel about. It just feels like saying an athlete is a 'cheater' because of PED use is a grave oversimplification of the issue. Some people want to keep it simple like that; they believe that when you enter the race, you agree to be bound by the rules, and if you break those rules, especially in an intentional and pre-meditated manner, then you are a cheater. I respect that, but I can't internalize it. It just feels more complex than that.

I agree with Python that even the effects of the PEDs is not clear cut. We shouldn't kid ourselves that a guy like Piepoli succeeded by EPO alone - you can bet that together with his dope program, he worked his *** off. I could take all the drugs in the book and I probably wouldn't get out of Cat 3. Clearly, though, athletes do take them because they believe in their effectivness.

You have to look also at the other side of Dr Maserati's coin. The guys who didn't refuse to dope were faced with an equally Faustian choice. They knew, just like guys know now, that the UCI and the national federations are not going to do enough to clean things up. So, ask yourself, if you had the talent to be a pro, what would you do in that situation? Would you reject doping in the hope that it would contribute to the next generation being able to ride clean, recognizing that your teammates would make a different decision and be richly rewarded? Or would you say, 'screw that, if the authorities aren't going to protect my prospects in the sport, I'll protect them myself?'

I don't support doping, and I think that the authorities are moving in the right direction (though I'm convinced there's been much progress). But part of me feels like the dopers are just as much victims of the system as non-dopers. Guys who get caught should be banned, and I wouldn't be opposed to longer or even lifetime bans. Because of the complexity of the situation, I don't feel able to judge them and conclude that they're bad, dishonest people, as some folks seem so ready and able to do.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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HoustonHammer said:
This is something like the way I feel about. It just feels like saying an athlete is a 'cheater' because of PED use is a grave oversimplification of the issue. Some people want to keep it simple like that; they believe that when you enter the race, you agree to be bound by the rules, and if you break those rules, especially in an intentional and pre-meditated manner, then you are a cheater. I respect that, but I can't internalize it. It just feels more complex than that.

I agree with Python that even the effects of the PEDs is not clear cut. We shouldn't kid ourselves that a guy like Piepoli succeeded by EPO alone - you can bet that together with his dope program, he worked his *** off. I could take all the drugs in the book and I probably wouldn't get out of Cat 3. Clearly, though, athletes do take them because they believe in their effectivness.

You have to look also at the other side of Dr Maserati's coin. The guys who didn't refuse to dope were faced with an equally Faustian choice. They knew, just like guys know now, that the UCI and the national federations are not going to do enough to clean things up. So, ask yourself, if you had the talent to be a pro, what would you do in that situation? Would you reject doping in the hope that it would contribute to the next generation being able to ride clean, recognizing that your teammates would make a different decision and be richly rewarded? Or would you say, 'screw that, if the authorities aren't going to protect my prospects in the sport, I'll protect them myself?'

I don't support doping, and I think that the authorities are moving in the right direction (though I'm convinced there's been much progress). But part of me feels like the dopers are just as much victims of the system as non-dopers. Guys who get caught should be banned, and I wouldn't be opposed to longer or even lifetime bans. Because of the complexity of the situation, I don't feel able to judge them and conclude that they're bad, dishonest people, as some folks seem so ready and able to do.
i agree with almost everything you said except life time bans. look at how effective are current increasingly longer suspensions at deterrence? weak evidence that it works. otoh, draconian suspensions create more problems. i don't want to sidetrack this very excellent thread and will not say more on suspensions.
 
Sep 15, 2009
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podilato said:
I think doping in all sports is just a symptom of the general corruption in sports. When you look at the history of some of sports leading bodies like the IOC or leading sport officials like Sepp Blatter is it any surprise that doping exists in sports?

We shouldn't just be furious about doping and ignore all the other corruption. We have to break down the walls of the Omerta that is extremely prevalent from the top of sports officialdom to sports journalists.

For example what proportion of media reports refers to the former head of the IOC being the Sports Minister in Spain for a government that was great friends with the Nazis; the IOC being a great place for former Nazis straight after WWII; Sepp Blatter once being elected as President of FIFA as a result of an official's girlfriend standing in and voting for Mr Blatter; an IOC member from South Korea being a former head of that country's Secret Police; during the Sydney Olympics an IOC delegate from an Eastern European country was refused a visa as he was wanted by the FBI in regards to their investigations into a huge international drugs ring; Mario Pescante, who tried to suppress a report into the doping practices in Italy in the early 90's, is now the IOC vice-president and a former middle-man for a company which paid bribes to FIFA was seen walking around the recent IOC Congress with official accreditation?

The media is complicit in the deafening silence. That is why doping attracts so much attention because it always the little fish that get caught. We need to focus on the big fish. I'm not saying that doping isn't a big deal but it is just part of the problem.

+1
The IOC is a joke and has been for most of its history.
 
python said:
i agree with almost everything you said except life time bans. look at how effective are current increasingly longer suspensions at deterrence? weak evidence that it works. otoh, draconian suspensions create more problems. i don't want to sidetrack this very excellent thread and will not say more on suspensions.
Python, can you give me examples where the UCI have enforced longer doping time bans? I haven't seen any longer than 2 years. So to me, it has not changed.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
Python, can you give me examples where the UCI have enforced longer doping time bans? I haven't seen any longer than 2 years. So to me, it has not changed.
i was not talking about actual *enforcing* longer 4 year suspensions per ce but the fact that the suspensions indeed historically got longer and the latest wada code (have to search but don't have time now) allows 4 years in some circumstances for the first offense. this position imo is not justified because there is no evidence that lengthening suspensions created an effective deterrence. doping cases continued, many are still willing to take the risk if some doc convinced them that the procedure or the substance is 100%.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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HoustonHammer said:
It just feels like saying an athlete is a 'cheater' because of PED use is a grave oversimplification of the issue.....You have to look also at the other side of Dr Maserati's coin. The guys who didn't refuse to dope were faced with an equally Faustian choice........So, ask yourself, if you had the talent to be a pro, what would you do in that situation? Would you reject doping in the hope that it would contribute to the next generation being able to ride clean............part of me feels like the dopers are just as much victims of the system as non-dopers..........I don't feel able to judge them and conclude that they're bad, dishonest people, as some folks seem so ready and able to do.

I don't feel able to conclude all dopers are bad dishonest people either but, people like Dr Mas's example really are cheated by those who choose to dope. If those people (or their close acquaintance) choose to pass 'dopers are cheaters' judgement, that's pretty reasonable IMHO.
 
A

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Dr. Maserati said:
A couple of clarifications:

In August a court in NYC ordered Google to reveal the identityof a 'blogger' who had 'bad-mouthed' a New York model.
But any legal ramification would not bother me - although CN could have a very different view on that.

Ultimately though I will not reveal any details of either the riders or the team - this is primarily because it is his right to reveal the names and details, not mine.

Also the rider I know is still actively involved in cycling. So even a hint could reveal his identity.


This is very interesting - to be honest I didn't think bloggers had that much of an impact. Completely understandable that you don't want to name the rider, sorry for asking as well.

I think your story is really interesting because as many noted it highlights that when someone who respects themself and wants to acheive in this sport without losing their integrity they find themselves on the outer and it is very sad to hear this from the horses mouth so to speak, but again as many others noted, this is an example of life, and not just sport in general. For some strange reason, in life, the cheaters provail, and the good guys never win.

Thanks for sharing the story in the first place, Doc M.
 
Escarabajo said:
Python, can you give me examples where the UCI have enforced longer doping time bans? I haven't seen any longer than 2 years. So to me, it has not changed.
The only instances I can think of are that some riders have faced a 4-year "no Pro Tour team" ban (Tyler Hamilton, for example).

Roberto Heras found that after his 2-year ban was up, the only offers he got were minimal ones from non-PT teams, with much speculation he was being blackballed from the sport.
 
May 18, 2009
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BikeCentric said:
Totally agree. It's an exploitative system for the majority of the athletes.

I'm not so sure I agree with adults being exploited. They have a choice on what sport/job they enter into and how they conduct themselves after that decision is made.

I've always said the riders are ultmately at fault, as a group, for doping in sports. And, the majority in racers don't have a problem with it due to the general silence when a doper is caught. I wonder why? ;)
 
Jun 3, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
I guess a lot of people including myself are brought up with the idea of fair play in life in general but as we grow up we realise this is some unreal idelaistic dream and that life is not fair. I think sport is just a reflection of general society but we have a notion that sport is somehow more noble when in fact it isnt.

I think you are right but as sport is not real life (at least for those who don't make a living from it) shouldn't we at least try to make it more noble?

ludwig said:
To make a "religion" of fair play and anti-doping gives cyclists additional reason to cling to omerta for dear life.

This is a really interesting statement to me. I hadn't thought about in exactly those terms. It is the Omerta, the dishonesty and taking away of choice for an athelete (if they want to stay in a sport) that I most dislike about doping. But that is only because of my love of the idea of fair play in sport (as we can't get it in real life).
 
Sep 21, 2009
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ChrisE said:
I'm not so sure I agree with adults being exploited. They have a choice on what sport/job they enter into and how they conduct themselves after that decision is made.

I've always said the riders are ultmately at fault, as a group, for doping in sports. And, the majority in racers don't have a problem with it due to the general silence when a doper is caught. I wonder why? ;)

It's called the Prisoner's dilemma

There's a lot to read on the subject at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner_dilemma and its references
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
You are right. I should not have asked that question. Besides, regardless of the names, nothing would surprise me anymore (well, almost nothing).

I apologize for asking. Frenchfry also made a good comment related with many riders with similar stories like that. They just keep it quiet for the many reasons that we already know.

Yes, there are many. Unfortunately most of those talented individuals leave the sport entirely after facing the hard reality of their dream. That loss is greater for all of us who still participate.
 
Jun 27, 2009
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Not Riding Enough said:
It is the Omerta, the dishonesty and taking away of choice for an athelete (if they want to stay in a sport) that I most dislike about doping. But that is only because of my love of the idea of fair play in sport (as we can't get it in real life).

Unfortunately the closer one examines the problem the more logical omerta becomes. As is evidenced by countless threads here, society in general and cycling fans in particular can't or won't accept doping is part of the sport. Yet doping is necessary to win. And doping can't be stopped by testing. So cyclists have a choice--they can either try to ride clean and hope their competitors don't or are caught (not likely to work) or they can adhere to a strict code of silence on the issue (what we have).

If the former was seriously practiced, you can imagine the chaos and recriminations in the peloton as these honest non-doping athletes would potentially get frustrated and call out the dopers. But since no one can prove anything absent physical evidence, it would create a ****storm that harms everyone involved in the sport.

So given the factual dilemna (most doping isn't detectable and doping is necessary to compete at the highest level) omerta is the best option for cyclists as a group.

Needless to say omerta stinks to high heaven in practice. Such is life.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Length of bans

As I understand it, it's a fairly well-established result from criminology that the key for punishment to deter crime is that it's swift and likely, not so much that it is harsh.

Assuming the same would hold here, it suggests that increasing the suspension from two years is actually not particularly useful; what *would* work is if the chances of getting caught were increased.

Of course, increasing the chances of getting caught is hard...:(

The other thing that occurs to me is that sports authorities should look at how cops deal with criminal omerta in other circumstances. Somewhat contradicting what I've said above, but it might just be that having harsher punishments available, with the flexibility to negotiate deals if somebody talks and gives up bigger fish, might help.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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In my opinion there is insufficient focus on those who supply and administer these doping products and techniques. On the whole Ferrari, Fuentes and co seem to get off scot free and continue to profit even when exposed. These are the individuals who need to be targeted to move things forward. Even in the absence of criminal charges deregistration as doctors would hit them in the hip pocket. Then they might think twice.
 
Aug 26, 2009
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Punishing the wrong people

rata de sentina said:
In my opinion there is insufficient focus on those who supply and administer these doping products and techniques. On the whole Ferrari, Fuentes and co seem to get off scot free and continue to profit even when exposed. These are the individuals who need to be targeted to move things forward. Even in the absence of criminal charges deregistration as doctors would hit them in the hip pocket. Then they might think twice.

I agree with you. The individual riders carry the can, while the suppliers and enablers continue to fill their wallets. For anyone who thinks that the cyclists have a free choice on doping, I recommend that you read the book 'Rough Ride' by Paul Kimmage. He comes over as a bit naive, but he explains how he was subjected to a kind of mental blackmail. Something like "If you want to ride with us, you use what we use." Trying to hold out against this pressure, he struggled off the back of the peloton. It's all very well to talk about breaking the omerta; but if it's you that's being bullied, ostracised, not spoken to, you need huge mental strength to cope with the pressure. The choice is less easy than you might think.
 
Jun 27, 2009
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quiensabe said:
I agree with you. The individual riders carry the can, while the suppliers and enablers continue to fill their wallets. For anyone who thinks that the cyclists have a free choice on doping, I recommend that you read the book 'Rough Ride' by Paul Kimmage. He comes over as a bit naive, but he explains how he was subjected to a kind of mental blackmail. Something like "If you want to ride with us, you use what we use." Trying to hold out against this pressure, he struggled off the back of the peloton. It's all very well to talk about breaking the omerta; but if it's you that's being bullied, ostracised, not spoken to, you need huge mental strength to cope with the pressure. The choice is less easy than you might think.

It's issues like this that make it so frustrating that cycling's leadership never changes, but rather has been essentially the same since Festina. On Puerto, McQuaid postures as if its Spanish Justice blocking the investigation, but then turns around and puts his weight behind Jaksche being blackballed from the sport for talking about Fuentes. The truth is McQuaid is doing everything possible to keep Puerto under wraps, and for good reason.

Take this latest doping scandal around Losa. His record as a doping doc was well publicized in 2006, but he has remained active and apparently serves one of the most successful teams (Caisse). There are also rumors that Fuentes has been active too.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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SpeedWay said:
Unless these role models admitted to wanting to be "role models for kids" you have no one to blame but yourself. Parenting tip #481 - Don't let strangers be role models for your kids (unless, of course, their names are Danny Donhaue and Anson Wheeler).

Strangers will be role models for our children as long as we have television, advertising, and live sporting venues. Athletes who perform on dope will continue to influence our children in the same way that dirty and clean athletes have influenced you and me.

filipo said:
As regards the original poster's question, here's why I'm against doping in a nutshell from today's news:

This is the argument in a nutshell for me. If we accept doping practices, it is a natural progression to accept doping for younger athletes. How many times have you heard of parents of 12 year old kids interfering with coaches, even using the legal system to secure some opportunity or advantage for their child? If doping became accepted for a 25 year old, it would certainly become accepted for a 12 year old whose body is still developing, and who cannot be expected to make a sound, rational decision for him/herself.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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I have two thoughts on this:

1) I don't think this is about informed adults making a choice of what to take and knowing the risks. Most elite athletes start out in the system at a young age when they are very impressionable. In terms of damage to health, if an adult wants to take PED's and knows the risks we should let them. Just like we let people smoke, drink alcohol and eat fatty foods... but we should be protecting the youth.

2) In any system of competition, there have to be rules and boundaries in order to "level the playing field". I don't think that any method of enhancing performance is inherently good or bad. Doesn't matter where the lines are drawn, it matters that they ARE drawn.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Murray said:
I have two thoughts on this:

1) I don't think this is about informed adults making a choice of what to take and knowing the risks. Most elite athletes start out in the system at a young age when they are very impressionable. In terms of damage to health, if an adult wants to take PED's and knows the risks we should let them. Just like we let people smoke, drink alcohol and eat fatty foods... but we should be protecting the youth.

2) In any system of competition, there have to be rules and boundaries in order to "level the playing field". I don't think that any method of enhancing performance is inherently good or bad. Doesn't matter where the lines are drawn, it matters that they ARE drawn.

A local rider who has won many amateur races just sent out a note regarding a positive test to our racing community. The details will eventually hit the news links so it will be added discussion fodder. In short: he doesn't deny the violation, but adds some notes on the influences that led him to take PEDs. He is a master that didn't start in the sport as an ignorant or impressionable dude. He is also coaching many younger riders. As a former teammate I know he would never make any recommendations to these younger riders but the major issue is still-can you cross that line at any age for any justification?
More later.
 

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